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School nurse’s cancer warning after diagnosis because she recognised symptoms

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A school nurse who was diagnosed with endometrial cancer after recognising symptoms and seeking medical help is sharing her experience to help others know more about the signs to look out for.

Tracy Warrington, who has worked for Swansea Bay University Health Board for more than twenty years, has since undergone surgery and is hopeful it has proved successful.

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The 59-year-old has hailed the treatment she received and is looking to raise awareness of the disease.

Tracy, who lived in Swansea for 20 years but is now based in Ammanford, realised she needed to seek advice due to her medical training.

She said: “I knew the symptoms I was getting were not right. They were tiny symptoms, not very much at all, but I knew from my experience in working in different places, such as family planning, that something wasn’t right.

“I had a colleague I used to work with in family planning and she used to impart bits of information, not just for the patients but also for ourselves. I heard her voice in my head one day, recalling her saying out loud, not just to me, if you ever get any bleeding after menopause do not ignore it.

“So I presented to a practice nurse who took a swab and she said with these symptoms we always refer and I am so grateful that they did.

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“I have a healthy lifestyle; I’m not overweight, I exercise, I eat healthily, I only drink small amounts, cancer doesn’t run in my family, so my only real risk factor was my age.

“But everything with my treatment happened on time, my appointments happened when I was told they would, I was called when I was told I would be called.

“The staff who treated me knew when I was terrified, they knew when I was anxious and they looked after me. I feel really very grateful.

“I had different diagnostic tests and during an ultra-sound they noticed some of the lining of my uterus was quite thick; it is supposed to be around 4mm and parts of it were as thick as 22mm. It’s not much, but it is a big difference.

“I have never really had any problems; I gave birth to my two sons easily enough, and I never had any real issues with the menopause. So it was a real shock to be diagnosed”.

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Tracy Warrington received quick treatment after recognising symptoms (Image: Swansea Bay NHS)

The grandmother-of-one received her diagnosis in January this year – and endured a six-week wait for surgery to remove her uterus, ovaries and cervix.

She said: “The waiting was the hardest. I did some work in the garden to keep me occupied, but the staff were staggeringly good. I stayed in at Singleton Hospital for two nights, but I felt surprisingly well afterwards. For about two weeks I felt a bit sore, but no real pain. It didn’t really affect my day to day living much, I just couldn’t run for a bit and had to walk a bit slower.

“Fortunately I’m reasonably fit and active, I do 5km runs, which I’m sure helped with my recovery. But I was scared beforehand. I’d never had any surgery or been ill before. I had to undergo localised radiotherapy, which is called brachytherapy, and I’m still in touch with my consultant.

“But the biggest thing is negotiating the emotional impact, and that is ongoing. I am so grateful to the way I have been looked after”.

Symptoms of endometrial cancer include postmenopausal bleeding, which is the most common symptom, bleeding between periods or heavier postmenopausal periods, unusual vaginal discharge not caused by menstruation, difficult or painful urination, pelvic pain, and pain during intercourse.

During her recovery Tracy held a fund-raising tea party with friends and colleagues which has so far raised almost £300 for the gynaecology department at Singleton Hospital. But it was one of five locations which has helped her through her journey: Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen where she received her diagnosis, Velindre Cancer Centre where she underwent radiotherapy, Prince Phillip for an ultrasound, and Neath Port Talbot for a review appointment with the surgeon.

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Tracy added: “Everywhere I went I was treated so well and I’m very grateful to everyone who has helped me.

“That includes friends and colleagues who helped with the fundraising. They were so generous with donations and contributions.

“The people I work with have been fantastic. I had a flood of cards and presents and messages, not just friends and colleagues, but people I know contacted me from out of the blue to wish me well.

“But I also want people to be aware of the symptoms of endometrial cancer because they can be recognised and it can be treated”.

Anyone with unusual vaginal bleeding is urged to visit their GP. Other conditions that affect the womb, such as fibroids, can also cause unusual vaginal bleeding.

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For further information about endometrial cancer visit Womb cancer – Macmillan Cancer Support

(Lead image: Swansea Bay NHS)

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Ammanford

Jenkins family set to grow Capel Hendre business as the UK’s leading manufacturer of chimney cowls and flue systems

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Midtec, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of chimney cowls and flue systems has completed the construction of 2500 square feet of additional manufacturing space at Capel Hendre Industrial Estate near Ammanford, using a £220,000 loan from the Development Bank of Wales.

Formed in 2003 by Managing Director, Trefor Jenkins, Midtec first benefitted from investment from the Development Bank in 2005.

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They have since had several rounds of funding from the Development Bank to support growth plans and the next generation is looking to the future with the new additional space being used to house a state of the art ENSIS laser cutting machine, supplied by Amada.

Trefor said: “The ongoing support of the Development Bank means that we’ve been able to grow the business, drive efficiencies and invest in new market opportunities. We’ve also introduced new products including the MidCat, an innovative solution for reducing the pollution created by wood burning stoves and the only one of its kind in the UK.”

“Our latest investment in our technology means that we can now offer a laser cutting service that will help to improve our quality and production processes and save time on the turnaround of customer orders. We hope that this will play an important part in our future growth. Indeed, our turnover is on target to exceed £2 million this year and I’m delighted that my son Thomas and daughter Hannah are already playing a vital role in the business as we focus on our long-term sustainability.”

Midtec make chimney cowls and flue systems at their Capel Hendre manufacturing base
Midtec make chimney cowls and flue systems at their Capel Hendre manufacturing base

Richard Easton, a Portfolio Executive with the Development Bank, said: “Midtec is a family run and owned business that is known for its high quality and excellent customer service. With our continued support, Trefor, Thomas, Hannah and the team have created a modern manufacturing facility that has a really exciting future ahead.”

The loan came from the £204 million Wales Business Fund which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Government. Loans, mezzanine finance, and equity investments are available for deals between £50,000 and £2 million with terms ranging from one to seven years for small and medium-sized businesses (those with fewer than 250 employees) based in Wales, or willing to relocate to Wales.

Construction company TRJ of Ammanford carried out the building work, while Jamie Reynolds of Cennen Solutions has also been providing strategic support.

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Ammanford

Leading insurance broker announces new sponsorship deal with Ammanford Cricket Club

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One of the UK’s leading independent insurance brokers, Towergate Insurance Brokers, has teamed up with Ammanford Cricket Club for their current season.

The partnership sees Towergate Insurance Brokers sponsor the upcoming Premier League match at home against Neath on 30 July, receiving exclusive access to one of the club balconies for 12 invited guests, featuring in the coin toss and appearing on the website and in match day programmes.

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In return, Towergate Insurance Brokers is providing essential funds to help cover the costs of running the club, maintaining the playing surface and ground at Ammanford Park, as well as donating two prizes of fourball golf at St. Pierre and Machynys for the club’s charity day which takes place later in the season.

Ammanford Cricket Club runs three senior sides on a Saturday, Cup teams on a Sunday and a midweek side, in addition to ten junior mixed teams, two girls’ teams and Friday evening All-Stars programme. They are focused on developing grass roots cricket, having over 150 juniors registered with the club.

Their first team plays in the South Wales Premier League and is captained by Alun Evans, ex-Glamorgan, and NZ Northern Districts player, for the 13th year running. They also have two allocated Glamorgan players available to their squad, Billy Root and Andrew Salter.

Peter Davies, Club Chair, said: “We’re really pleased to have Towergate Insurance Brokers on board as a sponsor this season, supporting our club as we continue to grow stronger after the pandemic.

“Towergate is well known here in south west Wales and have strong links with the sporting world, so having an association with such a large company will hopefully help enhance the wider attraction of the club.”

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Howard Phillips, Account Executive, at Towergate Insurance Brokers, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Ammanford Cricket Club this season, helping them continue to provide cricketing opportunities to so many in the town.

“This partnership was a natural fit for us as we have a lot of expertise in providing insurance to sporting clubs and associations, having worked with the Cardiff Devils and West Wales Rugby Union already this year.

“We look forward to watching the first team in the South Wales Premier League, particularly seeing Andrew Salter and Billy Root in action, and wish them the very best for the rest of the season.”

Towergate Insurance Brokers, which has over 60 offices nationwide, has a strong Welsh presence and a long-standing relationship with sporting teams across the country, having sponsored ice hockey team the Cardiff Devils since 2019.

(Lead image: Ammanford Cricket Club)

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape of Ammanford woman on victim’s phone jailed for 10 years

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A man who filmed himself raping a woman on his victim’s phone has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept in Ammanford on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan, who was midway through his trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing, changed his plea to guilty after the jury was shown the video of the attack.

He was back before Swansea Crown Court today and was sentenced to 10 years in prison .

Senior Investigating Officer DI Melanie Havard said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation and trial.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We appreciate this is not easy for anyone to do but the victim has expressed her gratitude to the officer in the case for her support and empathy throughout this process.

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“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

You can report it to Dyfed-Powys Police online, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101.

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