ovarian cancer

Postcode lottery: Chemo 4 – Day 12

Cancer care (or any care for that matter) shouldn’t be a postcode lottery. It shouldn’t matter what country in the UK you live in…or, for that matter, what town…

It shouldn’t…

But sadly this is not the case.

In ovarian cancer Avastin (bevacizumab) is an amazing drug that works by preventing ovarian cancer from developing new blood vessels and ‘recovering’ from the damage chemo is doing to our tumours.

Ovarian cancer is renowned for becoming resistant to chemotherapy. Avastin helps postpone this. 

 It is given through an IV every three weeks for a period of 9 months.

It is given to woman with stage 3 and stage 4 ovarian cancer.

At this stage our cancer is incurable.

Avastin gives us time.

Time with family. Time with loved ones. Time when our cancer isn’t spreading.

But it isn’t given to all of us.

Whilst I am lucky enough to receive treatment from an NHS trust that administers Avastin, neither the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in England, nor the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) in Scotland have recommended its use. It is also not administered in Northern Irland or Wales.

Whilst some people are given it as part of a clinical trial, or if their NHS board has specialist funding, everyone else has to make a choice to move house or to go without.

To go without that extra time…

But…you can help ensure every woman with ovarian cancer is given Avastin.

You can help ensure grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts and friends have more time…

The Westminster Government is currently reforming the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF).

You can write to your MP asking them to raise this with the Secretary of State for Health. 

Target Ovarian Cancer have created an online form with a letter already written. All you need to do is enter your name, address and email address and click send.

It will take you less than 2 minutes.

It could give thousands of woman another 9 months.

2 minutes of your time for 9 months of theirs.

Think about it..but not for too long…

Do the right thing.

Thank you on behalf of every woman still to be diagnosed* with late stage ovarian cancer.

Love and light, Fi xx

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*whilst under the proposed reforms there is a risk that Avastin (bevacizumab) might not be available to women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the future it will continue to be available to women receiving it now.

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Uncategorized

The benefits of exercise… 

After years of doing research and writing research papers I’ve now been given the opportunity to be in one…Macmillan are doing a national study to look at the affects of exercise on cancer treatment and prognosis.

To do this they have employed and trained personal trainers across the UK to work with cancer patients to develop a specialist program of exercise. In Scotland they are working in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Dundee and the Borders. Patients involved in the study will be given 12 free sessions and then unlimited sessions for a low fee each month for the rest of their lives. In exchange their fitness, response to treatment and side affects to cancer and treatment will be monitored every three months. The results of the study will be published by Macmillan later next year. It is hoped that the evidence will demonstrate that exercise has a positive impact on all aspects of a cancer patient’s care, their response to treatment, and whether or not they relapse. If proven effective, this scheme will be spread across other areas.

I feel both honoured and privileged to have been asked to be a part of this study. Not only will it allow me to bring back one of the joys in my life but it also gives me an opportunity to play an active part in the growing research in the importance of providing holistic patient care. More importantly it enables me to be a part of shaping what holistic cancer care may look like in the future.

I am really excited about this opportunity and hope to see some good results in recovering my fitness, strength and lung capacity.

Watch this space…

love and light, Fi xx