AS a city GP, Catharine Benson sees dozens of cancer patients every year and her family has also been affected by the disease.
So the Beaumont Street doctor will have plenty to draw on when she sets off for a 100-mile cycle for Macmillan Cancer Support tomorrow.
The charity funds health professionals like nurses, builds cancer care centres and provides support and advice.
The 52-year-old GP said: “When you see a patient throughout cancer treatment it’s quite satisfying to see them beat the disease. Macmillan do a fantastic job helping patients and catering to their needs.
“GPs often work very closely with Macmillan to help patients when they need it most so I’ve seen how important their job is.”
Dr Benson lost father Gilbert to Hodgkin’s lymphoma when she was an infant and her mother survived the same disease with help from Macmillan a decade ago.
She said: “When my father died from cancer he was just 27 and my mother told me there was just no support in those days for the families of patients.
“The advances in medical technology and the support given to patients meant my mother could survive the disease, which wasn’t treatable when my father had it.
“Having been through the experience myself I know how important it is for families to have support as well as patients themselves.”
She will ride in the amateur section of tomorrow’s Prudential Ride London with 24,000 other cylicsts.
It will go from Olympic Park through Surrey and Wimbledon before finishing on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace.
She said: “If someone suddenly starts coming to visit me having never been before or if I see a longstanding patient suddenly lose weight when they haven’t been able to before it sets warning bells ringing. That’s why it’s so important that there’s continuity of care and we see the same patients regularly.
“It also builds a strong bond between doctors and patients and you have to be careful not to let emotion take over. At the end of the day it’s about the patient, not the doctor.”
- To sponsor Dr Benson, visit justgiving.com/100milesforMacmillanbyCAB
Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
9:00am Saturday 25th October 2014
BIKE safety campaigners have warned that cyclists are risking their lives, after an Oxford Mail survey found more than half of them were riding without lights.
5:18pm Saturday 25th October 2014
A FOOTBALL match was abandoned this afternoon after a bottle was thrown onto the pitch.
1:40pm Saturday 25th October 2014
With an extra hour to enjoy - or recover with - tonight is the perfect night to celebrate one of Oxford's biggest nights of music
9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014
Danny Rose is targeting a move into mid-table today as Oxford United visit Carlisle United in search of a third win in eight days.
9:30am Saturday 25th October 2014
FILM buffs were given a taste of how movies used to be watched as they turned out for a silent screening in Witney.
8:49am Saturday 25th October 2014
Police have said the 21-year-old Oxford University student who was reported missing has been found safe and well.