💊💉🏥 Woman who's had cancer four times given new hope by 'Covid-friendly' treatment 🏥💉💊

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  • Feb 27, 2021
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    Alyson Blud has a medical condition which makes her pre-disposed to developing a tumour.


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    A woman who has been diagnosed with four different cancers in 20 years has actually benefited from Covid-19. Alyson Blud, a retired lecturer, was first diagnosed with cervical cancer in the early 2000s — but since 2018, has battled bowel, lung, and pancreatic tumours. The reason Alyson, 65, has had so much bad news is that she suffers from Lynch syndrome — which makes people predisposed to developing the disease.

    However, when two different treatments failed to reduce a tumour in her pancreas last year, with one of the chemotherapies leading to her being hospitalised for six weeks, her family began to fear the worst. Alyson, from Whitworth, near Rochdale, was extremely weak for over a month and her daughter Lauren decided to fly over from Australia just in case. Fortunately, new drugs introduced to the NHS last summer have turned Alyson’s illness around, with the tumour in her pancreas now showing signs it is shrinking. The only reason why her treatment became available on the NHS was the the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Last August, The Christie hospital began to use more Coronavirus-friendly cancer treatments, namely, Nivolumab, which Alyson is now on, plus three other drugs — Venetoclax, Ixazomib, and Atezolizumab.NHS England committed £160 million nationally to the scheme to pay for drugs that treat patients without having such a big impact on their immune system or offer other benefits, such as fewer hospital visits. Now Alyson has thanked her team of doctors and staff at The Christie.“Hearing that I had cancer for the fourth time in 20 years was devastating and really hit the whole family hard,” she said.


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    Alyson with her husband Michael, 69 (Image: The Christie)


    “Having to go through treatment on my own because of Covid-19 was horrible. I didn’t have anyone who could hold my hand or hug me and let me cry on their shoulder.“But Dr Hubner was incredible and so were all the other staff involved in my care at The Christie. Everyone from the doctors to the domestics had time to share a smile or joke and they all worked together as a team to provide great care.“The first lot of chemotherapy last year left me very ill and in hospital for weeks. Then, after I had recovered, they tried different chemotherapy but that didn’t work – the tumour had grown to more than 5cm. I was running out of options and my family and friends had started fundraising for me to have treatment privately.

    “Getting the call from Dr Hubner in August to say that the NHS guidelines had changed and that I could start on Nivolumab in September after a short break was a huge relief.“The Nivolumab infusions are so much kinder to my body. I still get a bit tired after each treatment, but compared with the chemotherapy it’s a walk in the park. I have a friend who is a pharmacist and he has described it as the Rolls Royce of treatments.”

    Alyson’s consultant at The Christie, Dr Richard Hubner, added: “Alyson was referred to me in March 2020 and I tried really hard to get her onto Nivolumab as patients with Lynch syndrome are much more likely to respond to immunotherapy.“While my early efforts to get Alyson on a treatment programme for a similar immunotherapy drug were unsuccessful, I was happy in time to be able to give her the good news that NHS England was making Nivolumab available to patients like her.


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    “Prior to that, Alison had experienced significant side effects from the initial chemotherapy, and a second chemotherapy regime proved to be ineffective in controlling the cancer in her pancreas.”I’m very pleased with the progress Alyson is making now she is on Nivolumab. It has improved her quality of life significantly and at her last scan in December we saw that the tumour in her pancreas had significantly reduced in size.”Alyson will continue with the immunotherapy for as long as it is fighting the cancer. Her best hope for long term survival is if she can have the tumour surgically removed from her pancreas, a procedure known as the whipple procedure.

    However, as the tumour is large and situated very close to a blood vessel, this won’t be possible unless the immunotherapy shrinks the tumour further. If surgery goes ahead in the future, Alison's daughter Lauren, has promised to take her to the French Polynesian Islands, including Tahiti, when she's recovered.




    Source: manchestereveningnews.co.uk