Mother-of-two with 25 brain tumours is symptom-free after abandoning NHS treatment for pioneering US clinic that uses DNA to detect cancer
- A mother-of-two turned to the internet to find a cure for her 25 brain tumours
- Heidi Spencer, 45, from Cheshire, found a company online which profiled genes
- She then found which genes caused her tumours and got the correct medicine
- The NHS only offered her palliative care and told her she had six months to live
After being told she had 25 tumours in her brain and probably less than six months to live, Heidi Spencer was devastated.
But the mother-of-two refused to accept the doctors’ prognosis and instead turned detective to find a cure.
After researching a ground-breaking genetic test for cancer online, she began a course of specialist drugs and says she is now free of symptoms.
Mother Heidi Spencer, 45, from Cheshire, was told she had 25 tumours in her brain and probably less than six months to live. She refused to accept the doctors’ prognosis and instead turned detective to find a cure
Within three months her brain tumours had vanished and others in her bones and lung are in remission or have shrunk.
Although she is not cured, she now has a chance of a future with her husband, Dave, 39, and sons, William, seven, and Lewis, four.
Heidi Spencer, left, is pictured with the MP for Eddisbury in Cheshire Antoinette Sandbach, right, to discuss the availability of DNA testing before targeted drug therapy
Mrs Spencer, 45, a business analyst, told The Sun: ‘If I’d relied on NHS advice and their standard of care I would be dead now. I owe my life to those tests and to not always listening to the doctors.’
Mrs Spencer’s problems began on Mother’s Day last year when her right leg went numb. Tests revealed she was suffering from stage-four lung cancer that had spread to her brain and bones.
Medics told her there was little they could do but offer her palliative care and that she had only six to 12 months to live.
But she refused to accept that and discovered FoundationOne, a £3,000 DNA profiling test devised in America.
By analysing a patient’s blood or taking a biopsy from their tumours, the test identifies which genes have mutated and are driving a patient’s cancer.
With this knowledge doctors can then choose therapies most likely to kill the tumours.
Six weeks after having the test Mrs Spencer was told that five of her genes had mutated to cause the disease. Of these, two have treatments available.
Heidi Spencer is pictured abseiling down Liverpool Cathedral earlier this year. She started on the specialist drugs, in combination with targeted radiotherapy, last summer, but the treatment costs up to £10,000-a-month
With the help of doctors from Manchester’s Christie Hospital, Mrs Spencer, of Burland, Cheshire, started on the specialist drugs, in combination with targeted radiotherapy, last summer.
But the treatment costs up to £10,000-a-month, so she is trying to raise £200,000 to cover the next two years.
She said: ‘I have a dream, and that is to play a very large hand in helping my boys grow into strong well-rounded and good-natured men.’
To help go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpheidifight
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