Father Of Three Discovers Eye Cancer After A Trip To The Opticians

I was diagnosed with incurable cancer after a chance visit to opticians

Matthew Parsons

Image courtesy Wales Online

Image courtesy of Wales Online

Next time you complain about making a visit to the opticians, or moan that it is a waste of time, take heed of this story.

This is the story of Matthew Parsons, who was shocked to be diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer following a chance eye examination at his local opticians.

Parsons, a broadcast operative from Cardiff, decided to drop into an opticians in the city centre after he experienced a blinding, flashing light when he bent down to pick something up. He was referred to the emergency eye clinic at the University Hospital of Wales that evening, and after a scan on his right eye, he was told that he would need to have further scans for eye cancer.

In Liverpool, one of the only centres that can diagnose and treat eye cancer, Mr Parsons was told he had a cancer known as choroidal melanoma.A biopsy revealed the worst. His tumour was particularly aggressive, and was likely to spread to other parts of his body. Although he could receive some treatment to slow the progress of his cancer, the father of three was told that it could not be cured.

With such an earth-shattering prognosis, Mr. Parsons began putting his affairs in order, and preparing for the inevitable. His diagnosis has been hard on his emotional state and on his family, and his sight deterioration had impacted his work as a broadcast operative.

Secondary tumours are likely to appear in Mr. Parsons’ liver, so he has radically changed his diet and started getting fit, to give him the best chance of fighting the disease, and recovery from any necessary surgery. He has undergone treatment to try to stop the tumour growing, including proton beam therapy.

Mr. Parsons has used his diagnosis to help raise awareness of eye cancer, and bring it to the attention of many who didn’t even know it existed. He says that without the keen eye of his optician, the outcome could have been much worse. As it is, he hopes to live for at least another five years.

“Thanks to the sharp eye of the optician I’ve been treated for the primary tumour but more importantly I’m being screened for lethal secondary tumours and hopefully I’ll survive for a few more years to come.”

Matthew Parsons

Mr. Parsons’ visit to the optician has improved his life expectancy, and given him precious extra time to spend with his young family. If he hadn’t made the trip, the outcome would likely have been a lot bleaker.

If you are experiencing any flashing lights, or unusual or uncomfortable eye problems, please do no hesitate to visit your local optician as soon as possible. We have branches in Narberth, Pembroke Dock and Cardigan, so if you are living in Pembrokeshire and having problems with your vision or eye health, give us a call today.