Mother, 30, reveals she’s been given new ‘miracle’ cancer drug which could give her more time to spend with her son, three, following terminal diagnosis last year
- Natalie Sanders, 30, suffers from Grade 3 Triple-Negative breast cancer
- Mother-of-one from Coatbridge was told she was cancer-free in May last year
- She was told a month later she had developed Grade 4 Metastatic breast cancer
- Natalie started taking newly-licensed drug Talazoparib a few days ago
A mother who was given less than a year to live has been given a ‘miracle’ drug which could extend her life.
Natalie Sanders, 30, from North Lanarkshire, endured heartbreak last year after being told she was rid of her cancer – only for it to return a month later in a more aggressive and incurable form.
She started the treatment a few days ago and doctors hope it will improve the quality of her life, as well as extending it and allowing her to spend more time with her son Zeke, three.
Natalie Sanders, 30, from North Lanarkshire, suffers from Grade 3 Triple-Negative breast cancer and was told she was cancer free in May last year. She has started a new treatment called Talazoparib, which doctors hope will improve her quality of life and extend it (pictured with son Zeke, three)
The mother was first diagnosed with Grade 3 Triple-Negative breast cancer in October 2019.
She carries the faulty BRCA gene, which increases a person’s chances of developing breast cancer.
After undergoing gruelling treatment and being declared cancer-free in May, Natalie became concerned about a painful fluid build up in her breast, with doctors discovering she now had Grade 4 Metastatic breast cancer.
She was left bedbound with agonising pain in her breast and Natalie said that she missed around nine weeks with her son because of the pain.
The mother received the call about the new treatment on Christmas eve and said ‘it was an absolute Christmas miracle’, with the treatment starting a few days ago, giving Natalie energy to get up and spend time with her little boy again (pictured with Zeke and partner Dee)
Natalie subsequently began another course of radiotherapy and then learned about the new drug her team had managed to secure, which is not available on the NHS.
‘On Christmas Eve, I got a call from my breast cancer nurse and she told me they had managed to secure the drug for me and I’d be getting it for free’, said Natalie.
‘I just burst out crying. I was just so relieved. At the point I decided I wasn’t going to ask any questions – I didn’t want to know the name or how it worked.’
Natalie went on to explain that the new drug is aimed at those with the BRCA gene and triple negative breast cancer, and that she doesn’t know how long she’ll be on it because it works differently for different people.
She said the treatment is ‘going well’ so far, suffering nausea and fatigue as the side effects but ‘that was expected’.
Natalie said the drug is for people with the BRCA gene and who have triple negative breast cancer and it works differently for different people so she doesn’t know how long she’ll be taking it
Natalie continued: ‘We checked it out online and it costs around £4,900 for a month’s supply which we definitely couldn’t afford on our own even with the fundraising.’
She is due to have a scan around February or March time to see what is happening – but added that radiotherapy has worked well.
The mother went on to say that the different in the levels of her pain is ‘unbelievable’ and added: ‘My pain medication has been halved and now I’ve got energy to get up and spend time with my wee boy which, given my diagnosis, is all I want.’
Natalie continues to raise awareness and posts monthly reminders for women to check their breasts and men to check their testicles.
The mother said it ‘costs around £4,900 for a month’s supply which we definitely couldn’t afford on our own even with the fundraising’ (pictured with a friend who helps with her fundraising)
What is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and the BRCA gene?
Triple-negative breast cancer is a cancer which tests negative for oestrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and excess HER2 protein.
It means the growth of the cancer isn’t fuelled by the hormones or protein and therefore does not respond to hormonal therapy medicines. Around 10-20 per cent of breast cancers are triple-negative breast cancers.
Around 70 per cent of breast cancers diagnosed in people with an inherited BRCA mutation, particularly BRCA1, are triple-negative.
Triple-negative breast cancer is considered to be more aggressive and have a poorer prognosis than other types of breast cancer and tends to be a higher grade than other types of breast cancer.
It is more likely to be diagnosed in people younger than 50 and is more likely to be diagnosed in Black and Hispanic women than Asian and white.
Most inherited cases of breast cancer are associated with two abnormal genes: BRCA1 (BReast CAncer gene 1) or BRCA2 (BReast CAncer gene 2).
Women who inherit a mutation, or abnormal change, in either of these genes have a much higher-than-average lifetime risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer.
Women with either genetic mutation have up to a 72 per cent risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes.
Finding out whether you have inherited the gene requires a test using a blood sample.