3:26pm Friday 29th January 2010
A KIDDERMINSTER woman who has had cancer four times is undergoing an experimental treatment to help treat hereditary forms of breast and ovarian cancer.
Janie Thomas, 62, was diagnosed with a fault in the BRCA1 gene, after having cancer for the fourth time in 2008.
Mrs Thomas, of Hillgrove Gardens, will be taking part in the Cancer Research UK trial, which is one of the first in the UK, in Birmingham.
The retired biology teacher and antiques dealer has defied the odds by surviving cancer for 15 years, despite being given months to live in 1995.
She was first diagnosed with cancer in 1980 after finding a pea-sized lump in her left breast.
She said that the trial, known as PARP, is important for women who have an inherited risk of cancer.
She added: “I was very excited when I heard about the PARP trial. I know there are no cures for me, but I hope it will extend my life for a while. I feel very well at the moment.
“As someone with a scientific background I also feel it’s important for people like me to volunteer for trials like this, so future generations can benefit. Today’s trials are tomorrow’s breakthroughs."
She added: “It is amazing how the treatment of cancer has progressed over the decades that I have been fighting the disease. When I was first diagnosed I wasn’t offered chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and didn’t even see an oncologist.
“The PARP trial is fascinating because it is so specific to an individual’s genetic make-up. It shows how far advances in cancer treatment have come.”
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