North East Cancer specialist gets honour from Queen

World-leading cancer specialist Prof Michael Griffin, will receive his OBE from the Queen today

Professor Michael Griffin
Professor Michael Griffin

A world-leading cancer specialist will receive his OBE from the Queen today.

Prof Michael Griffin, consultant surgeon and professor of gastrointestinal surgery at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, will be presented with the honour by Her Royal Highness at Buckingham Palace in London.

The father-of-three will have his children Kathleen, 24, Geannie, 22, and Robbie, 20, by his side throughout the special day.

He said: “This is a huge honour shared with the wonderful team that have worked so hard with me over the last 20 odd years.

“It is a wonderful recognition and I am honoured that the Queen will be there, it is just the perfect situation.

“It is marvellous that my children are going to be there to share in this lovely moment in my life.”

Prof Griffin has worked in the region for more than 20 years and is an expert in his field, performing extremely complex surgery.

He has played a pivotal role in the creation of the Northern Oesophago-Gastric Unit at the region’s RVI, which is the biggest in Europe and North America.

In the past, only two in every 100 patients survived oesophageal and gastric cancer, which are some of the toughest to deal with.

But now, thanks to Prof Griffin and his dedicated nursing team, 98 in every 100 patients treated leave hospital, while two in five are completely cured.

The unit achieves the impressive results despite the fact that the North East and the west of Scotland have some of the highest rates of gullet cancer in the world.

Patients are so grateful for the outstanding care they have received that they nominated Prof Griffin for the prestigious OBE.

“The fact that the patients nominated me is the most important thing,” he said.

“I’m always very close to patients and their families and I live their journey with them.

“Very often it is wonderful news and a great success story but there are sadly also times of tragedy as well.”

Other honours recipients in the Birthday Honours List, announced in June, included County Durham-born comic Rowan Atkinson who received a CBE for his services to drama and charity.`

His former Blackadder co-star Tony Robinson, who played Baldrick in the show, was handed a knighthood.


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