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My husband said I looked like a Minion – I flew into a panic but then my worst fears came true

A WOMAN whose skin turned so yellow her husband said she looked like a Minion, was actually suffering with a deadly disease.

Becki Buggs, 43, had just jumped out of the shower when her husband joked she “looked like a Minion” after her skin turned bright yellow.

Becki was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer January 2022
Becki Buggs, 43, had just jumped out of the shower when her husband joked she “looked like a Minion” after her skin turned bright yellow

But this is no joke, turning yellow can be a sign of a condition known as jaundice.

Jaundice is caused by the build-up in your body of a yellow substance called bilirubin.

There are lots of possible reasons for this, it’s common in newborn babies, and some of them are serious, including liver disease and pancreatic cancer.

In January 2022, Becki, a nurse from Colchester, was diagnosed with the latter, a potentially fatal disease that left her “devastated”.

“I’m the person people usually look to to reassure them that everything’s going to be okay, but couldn’t do that this time because I was completely devastated myself,” she explained.

Pancreatic cancer is the 11th most common type of cancer in the UK and the sixth-highest cause of cancer death.

In February 2022 Becki had surgery to remove her tumour, the very operation she prepares patients for as part of her job at Colchester Hospital.

But the mum-of-two is worried other patients this winter will miss out on the chance of having the same operation – the only potentially curative treatment for the disease.

 “It scares me that there are people out there who will think, ‘Oh, I just feel a bit off and I don’t really feel well but it’s fine, I can’t get a GP appointment, so I’ll just ride it out’.

“Then they become so ill and jaundiced that they get admitted to A&E and by then it’s too late,” she explained.

Becki fears mounting pressures on the NHS could mean cancer patients might miss out on vital treatment.

“We have huge staff shortages,” she explained..

“There is also now the extra pressure of winter coming up and soon it’s going to be that we’re so short of doctors and nurses that we’re not going to be able to staff the hospitals.

“ICU [Intensive Care Unit] beds are going to be a crisis again this winter, and you need an ICU bed after pancreatic cancer surgery.

“These surgeries will get cancelled if there’re no ICU beds and the more that happens, the more opportunity the tumour has to grow. It’s utterly horrible.”

Diana Jupp, CEO of Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “The message from health professionals is frighteningly clear: the pandemic, staff shortages and underfunding have all pushed the NHS to breaking point.

“Pancreatic cancer is the quickest killing cancer and any delays to diagnosis and treatment could cost people their chance of survival. There is no time to wait,” she said.

She added: “Governments across the UK must bring forward and implement funded cancer plans to deliver faster diagnosis and treatment that will save lives, not just this winter but well into the future.

“We cannot afford to continue lurching from one worsening crisis to another.

“People with pancreatic cancer, their loved ones and hardworking NHS staff all deserve better.”

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