Frances Mould - My Story.

Back in 2001 I was told I had cancer, as you can imagine it came as quite a shock. Without the fantastic care of Professor Rustin and his team at Hillingdon and Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospitals I don't think I would be here today. I had surgery for a rare type of ovarian tumour and was told that I was 99.9% cured....

Except that in October 2010 it came back!.... Unfortunately the cancer had spread so I had to have extensive surgery at Queen Charlotte and Chelsea Hospital again, during which they removed 3 tumours from my ovary and bowel.

My recovery from this surgery was long as I had various setbacks including split stitches and infections! Not to mention that I had to inject myself everyday for a month with blood thinners! After this surgery my follow up was transferred with Professor Rustin to Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in Northwood.

All was not well as a few months after the surgery I was getting discomfort on my right side near my ribcage. Further investigation revealed a tumour near my liver so in November 2012 back to Queen Charlotte and Chelsea I went for another operation and another month of blood thinners!

The type of cancer I have does not respond well to chemotherapy which is why I have to have it cut out when it shows up! Fortunately for me my cancer is not very agressive so in that respect I am lucky!

During my 13 years in the care of Professor Rustin he and his team have helped run the first clinical studies demonstrating the anti-cancer activity of a new group of drugs that target the blood supply to cancers – known as vascular disruptive agents. It is now combining these drugs with other cancer treatments to maximize their effect.

The Mount Vernon Cancer Centre's work with the Paul Strickland Scanner Centre, also based at Mount Vernon, has established them as world leaders in the use of sophisticated imaging techniques that show the effect of drugs attacking the blood supply of cancers.

Professor Rustin along with The Centre has also developed blood tests that can be used to monitor patients' response to treatment for ovarian cancer and its guidelines for their use are now accepted internationally. It is now examining whether similar blood tests can be used in dealing with the skin cancer – malignant melanoma.