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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 10:20 GMT
Cancer battle woman in remission
Barbara Clarke with award: Photo by Fiona Hanson/PA
Ms Clarke now has to go for three-monthly check ups
Barbara Clark, the nurse who fought to receive the drug Herceptin on the NHS, is in remission from breast cancer.

Ms Clark, 49, from Bridgwater, Somerset, had threatened to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights to obtain the drug.

However, Somerset Primary Care Trust agreed to fund treatment last October.

Ms Clark told the BBC: "I am clear for the moment of cancer but there is still a 50/50 chance of it coming back so there's no champagne just yet."

Getting the all clear or being in remission usually means that there are no signs of cancer detected following treatment
Jeremy Hughes

She added: "It's been an amazing year, going from the worst year of my life to the best.

"This gives me a 50% chance of remaining cancer free but at least I have helped lots of other women.

"Even if the disease were to return, it would not automatically mean a death sentence. I would just get on with my life.

"I have to go for three-monthly check ups now so fingers crossed."

Ms Clark took on the Somerset Coast Primary Care Trust in an effort to be given Herceptin.

Cancer sufferers

The drug could have raised her chances of survival from 14% to 66% but, at the time, the drug was not available to patients in the early stages of the disease.

In June last year, she put her home up for sale in an attempt to raise money to be treated with the drug.

But after she successfully argued her case to be given Herceptin, the Department of Health decided to fast-track a licence for the drug so that other cancer sufferers could receive it.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: "Getting the all clear or being in remission usually means that there are no signs of cancer detected following treatment.

"Unfortunately it doesn't mean that cancer will never return. Nevertheless, this is very welcome news and we are delighted for Barbara who has campaigned tirelessly to make Herceptin available to other women who could benefit."


SEE ALSO:
Cancer drug woman wins mums award
15 Jan 06 |  Somerset
Nurse wins breast cancer drug row
03 Oct 05 |  Somerset
Woman sells home for cancer drugs
08 Jun 05 |  Somerset


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