Cancer trial not a bitter pill
LEONE SPRING hasalready had one breast cancer scare, but she knows she won’t have another any time soon.
The 64-year-old Coraki resident is one of ninelocal women taking part in an international bre-ast cancer prevention study at the Lismore Base Hospital.
Mrs Spring was living at Kalgoorlie in WA two years ago when she had a routine mammogram that revealed lumps in her breast.
“They said just to keep an eye on it, but I noticed one lump was getting larger,” she said.
“They did some tests and the surgeon called me saying I had breast cancer. I decided to go to Perth to see someone for a second opinion, but I couldn’t get in for six weeks. For six weeks I though I had breast cancer. I was devastated.”
When Mrs Spring saw the specialist she was told it was a misdiagnosis and she didn’t have cancer.
“The night before I went to see the doctor I said to my son, I bet you I don’t have breast cancer,” she said. “I just had a feeling I didn’t.”
To ease her lingering concerns about breast cancer Mrs Spring was asked to participate in a breast cancer prevention study called IBIS-II.
She has been taking part for two years and gets regular mammograms and ultrasounds as part of the study, giving her peace of mind.
Lismore Base Hospital is one of more than 30 hospitals in Australia running the five-year long IBIS-II trial.
Participants are req-uired to be post-menopausal women with a family history of breast cancer, or with particular abnormal cell conditions in their breast.
As part of the study they take one tablet, anastrozole or tamoxifen, each day for the trial period.
If results from the study prove to be as successful as previous research, using the drug anastrozole as a treatment for early breast cancer could prevent up to 70 per cent of new tumours occurring or 300,000 breast cancers a year.
“All I have to do is pop a pill every day and it helps everyone,” Mrs Spring said.
The Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group is calling for women to participate in the study to reach the international goal of 6000 female participants.
Breast cancer facts
One-in-nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85.
By 2015, it is predicted breast cancer cases will be 20pc higher than in 2006.
The average age of diagnosis was 60 in 2006.
Source: National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre