Cancer Sufferer Wants Trials on the NHS
My name is Debbie Brewer and in September 2006 I had a future. All that changed on 13th November 2006 when I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a lung cancer that is almost always contracted through exposure to Asbestos.
I was born in 1959 and I believe I was exposed to Asbestos through my father’s work clothes. My father worked for the MoD in Plymouth between 1963 and 1966. He was a lagger and would be in close contact with Asbestos as his job would mean he would have to scrape Asbestos from pipes.
According to his statement, he would come home covered in Asbestos dust.
No parent in their right mind would knowingly expose their child to this danger and he would have been mortified if he ever thought he would have given any of his four daughters this life sentence.
My dear dad died on 26th August 2006 due to cancer, he also had pleural plaque.
After setting up a website, I went to Harley street and saw a Dr who recommended seeing Professor Thomas Vogl in Germany who was having great success with Mesothelioma.
What did I have to lose, I had my first treatment of chemoembolisation in May 2008. chemoembolisation is a procedure that is directed straight into the lung and bypasses the immune system.
After 6 treatments my mesothelioma had shrunk by 83%. This was astounding considering I was told there was nothing that would help me and I had to wait to die. I have paid for all 6 treatments myself and saved the NHS money that I am entitled to.
What I want now is for mesothelioma patients to have the chance of hope which in the UK they don't have at the moment.
I would like to see the PCT fund treatments for patients to go to Germany for treatment and for the PCT to consider trialling chemoembolisation for mesothelioma as it is shown that mesothelioma responds to it.
In a written statement Plymouth Primary Care Trust said:
"In early December 2009 the Peninsula Health Technology Commissioning Group made a commissioning decision with regards to chemoembolisation for the treatment of pleural mesothelioma.
"It was decided that chemoembolisation would not be commissioned by the four primary care trusts in the South West Peninsula.
"However funding for patients can still be requested from the Exceptional Treatment Panels/Individual Patient Funding Panels under exceptional circumstances and the appeals process is still available.
"The commissioning group’s decision was based on clinical advice from the Lung Cancer Group for the Peninsula."
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