A Leeds charity worker is urging people to take part in clinical trials for potentially life-saving cancer care as part of a new campaign - a decade after beating the illness herself.
Posters starring cancer survivor Nicki Embleton, who lives in Ossett, will be on display in Leeds hospitals, bus shelters, shopping centres and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park for the next month to raise awareness of trials, which help to develop new treatments for patients.
Nicki was diagnosed with breast cancer aged 39 after finding a lump in her right breast in May 2004, four years after she began working for Cancer Research UK as a press officer.
The aggressive form of cancer that she had was thankfully caught early, meaning she had her lump removed rather than a full mastectomy operation.
Her treatment then involved chemotherapy and radiotherapy before doctors recommended that she go on a five-year course of tamoxifen and a year’s course of herceptin, which was a relatively new drug at the time.
Nicki said: “Thanks to women who had agreed to go on trials before me, I was able to take tamoxifen and herceptin, two life-saving drugs which are now standard treatments for certain types of breast cancer.”
As part of her treatment, Nicki’s oncologist at Leeds St James’s Hospital then asked if she would like to take part in two clinical trials.
One of the trials meant combining chemotherapy drugs and the other was a five-year course of a drug called zoledronic acid – she agreed to both. Nicki added: “It will soon be 11 years since I was told I had cancer and I am very much still here, still working for Cancer Research UK, still living life to the full, and that’s thanks to research.”
Cancer Research UK has chosen three major cities, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds, for the launch of its first campaign promoting awareness of clinical trials.
Visit CRUK.org/trials or call 0808 8004040 for information.
More than 2,000 patients took part in cancer trials in Leeds last year
Cancer Research UK currently supports more than 250 clinical trials testing new cancer drugs and treatments across the UK.
Cancer Research UK supports six out of 10 clinical trials linked to children’s and young adults’ cancer in the UK.
Last year Cancer Research UK spent around £31million supporting ground-breaking trials which continue to save the lives of thousands of people worldwide.