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Cancer researcher saved by her own drug

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 13th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Her success in her field of work has led to a deeply personal benefit. Thirty-nine-year-old Dr. Hayley Farmer, who works for Cancer Research U.K., is part of a team responsible for clinical trials on new medicines and vaccines. Farmer was part of the office working on Cisplatin - a chemotherapy drug being tested on different types of cancer. The drug wound up saving her life.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Farmer originally had no idea that she might need the treatment herself, until a routine smear test revealed had the cancer in 2007.

Considered already too advanced for surgery, Farmer was treated with radiotherapy followed by Cisplatin.

From Bristol, Farmer was given the all clear from cancer last year thanks to the pioneering drug. "I have always been very passionate about what I do and why I do it.

"I wanted to work for Cancer Research UK in the first place because I had recently lost my grandmother to cancer.

"But now I have had my own experience it makes me so grateful for doing the job I do.

"It was quite surreal when I was first told, I see the cancer work every day, although it is very different when it is you."

She found her cancer experience "positive" and used fighting the disease as a chance to take time off work and go travelling. She feels lucky to be in a country where cancer screening is available to pick up cases like hers.

"I am appreciative of all the patients who go through clinical trials. In some cases it doesn't help them, but it helps people in the future.

"For me there is a personal connection because if it had not been for people going through clinical trials I might not be here.

"We did some of the early work on the drug I got and that really does put it in perspective - if it wasn't for people doing that 20 years ago I wouldn't be here."

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