An Ealing gardener has thrown her support behind a new medical drug after claiming it has helped stop her breast cancer growing.
Jayne Smith, who moved to Ealing in 1981, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 after doctors found tumours in both breasts which had spread to her lungs and liver.
Initially she underwent hormone treatment but it ceased to be effective after 18 months, so the now 67-year-old was referred to a surgeon and took part in Cancer Research UK 's RADICAL trial.
She then underwent surgery as well as the charities trial, testing a yet to be approved treatment called AZD4547.
She said: "I had made my mind up, I couldn't go on living as I was. It was taking over my life. Even though I hadn’t wanted to have surgery I felt I now had no choice if I wanted a good quality of life.
"I had to start the trial before I had the surgery, and in order to take part I had to pass a number of medical tests, including an eye test, which revealed I had a torn retina, of which I was totally unaware.
"I’ve hardly had any side effects. My hair has got thinner and straighter, and only the grey hairs have fallen out!
"Everyone involved in my treatment has been so great. I know who to contact if I have any questions or problems and Emily (her clinical trial practitioner) and the team are always there to help."
'Taking each day as it comes'
The trial, partly funded by Cancer Research UK and run by Imperial College London at Charing Cross Hospital, is promoted as part of Cancer Research UK's " Right Now " campaign.
It is claimed to re-sensitise breast cancer that has become resistant to hormone therapy, making treatments like letrozole effective again.
Miss Smith, who set up GardenSmiths in 1987, said: "The fact I’m being so closely monitored as part of the trial is very reassuring. I don’t have debilitating side effects.
"I have good days and bad days – but mostly good! The support from my family and particularly my sister had been incredible.
"If I can help test treatments that might save others in the future and benefit from it myself at the same time, then that’s great. I’m conscious of the fact the treatment will probably stop working at some point so I just try and take each day as it comes.
"Working is what keeps me sane. I can’t do as much as I used to, I’ll do a couple of hours in the morning and that will then be enough for the day.
"But it’s great to have a focus, be out in the fresh air and get some exercise."