By Prof. Jane Plant, PhD, CBE
I had no alternative but to die or to try to find a cure for myself. I am a
scientist – surely there was a rational explanation for this cruel illness that
affects one in 12 women in the UK ?
I had suffered the loss of one breast, and undergone radiotherapy. I was
now receiving painful chemotherapy, and had been seen by some of the country’s
most eminent specialists. But, deep down, I felt certain I was facing death. I
had a loving husband, a beautiful home and two young children to care for. I
desperately wanted to live.
Fortunately, this desire drove me to unearth the facts, some of which
were known only to a handful of scientists at the time.
Anyone who has come into contact with breast cancer will know that certain risk
factors – such as increasing age, early onset of womanhood, late onset of
menopause and a family history of breast cancer – are completely out of our
control. But there are many risk factors, which we can control easily.
These “controllable” risk factors readily translate into simple
changes that we can all make in our day-to-day lives to help prevent or treat
breast cancer. My message is that even advanced breast cancer can be overcome
because I have done it.