Yes to chemo: Cancer survivor shares views on treatment

A TWO-TIME breast cancer survivor has urged those battling the disease not to discount chemotherapy as an effective treatment.

Nola Wilson's comments followed a story in the Daily yesterday that told of mother-of-three Corissa Macklin-Rice's choice not to use chemo or radiation to fight her cancer.

Ms Macklin-Rice's story divided the community, with many speaking out both for and against alternative therapies.

Mrs Wilson, 64, of Coolum, was first diagnosed with breast cancer aged 46 and, after enduring both chemo and radiation, she remained cancer-free for 19 years until she was diagnosed again last Christmas.

While she was ineligible for chemo the second time, she said if it were an option it was something she would take "in a heartbeat".

"It's common sense. If you're offered a cure for something, you don't say 'no, I'll have a milkshake'," she said.

"Obviously I don't want to criticise Corissa's choice, but I do think it's frightening when there are women who have just been diagnosed and are reading that."

While she admitted chemo wasn't "a breeze", Mrs Wilson said she felt the struggle was worth the reward and it did not affect her quality of life.

"It made me sick, but they gave me medication to stop it. My hair fell out, so I wore a hat. It made me tired, so I went to bed," she said.

"I drove myself to Nambour Hospital and home, my kids didn't know what I was going through.

"You square your shoulders, look at it in the face and just get on with it."

Mrs Wilson said she felt breast cancer was a curse for women that she likened to a game of Russian roulette.

"No woman is more prone than others. You're playing with your life here," she said.

A Queensland Health oncologist was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Readers on The Daily online also defended chemotherapy, despite many praising Ms Macklin-Rice.

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