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Rare cancer claims the life of inspiring young athlete

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Young Cooper Rice-Brading was a keen sportsman, who dreamed of playing professional cricket or AFL.

Last year, Cooper began to experience a pain in his shoulder.

Unfortunately, the aches and pains he felt were signs of an aggressive cancer known as sarcoma.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he lost his fight with the disease at 18 years of age.

The sarcoma he suffered is particularly rare, making up just 0.1% of cancer referrals in Australia.

Alan Jones says Cooper’s story hit home.

“I’m not a sook but it almost made me cry.”

Alan asks Professor Martin Tattersall, oncologist at Chris O’Brien Lighthouse, whether the medical community is any closer to finding a cure.

“Sarcoma is a tumour arising in a soft tissue or bone structure. In Cooper’s case, when he was diagnosed the cancer, in fact, had already spread.”

Professor Tattersall says developments in radiation therapy has improved survival rates.

“There’s about a 60% cure if the disease is identified before it has demonstrably spread.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

Visit the Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation here