A Mandurah mother riddled with tumours has revealed her life or death dilemma – spend thousands of dollars every few weeks for treatment or go without and die.
Halouma Pittock was forced to turn to immunotherapy to prolong her life after chemotherapy failed and surgery was ruled out as an option.
Now her most recent body scan has been described a miracle.
“All of the tumours have shrunk significantly and some of them have disappeared,” she said.
“It’s just incredible.”
Immunotherapy is a fairly new form of treatment for cancer and it’s less gruelling than chemotherapy – which destroys both good and bad cells in the body.
“Immunotherapy is more of a targeted therapy where you’re trying to make sure only the cancer cells are receiving the damaging effect of your own immune system,” St John of God Subiaco oncologist Dr Martin Buck said.
While the emerging treatment is saving lives, it remains unaffordable for many cancer patients.
“This is life or death for me,” Ms Pittock said.
“(Without the treatment) I’ll go back to being as well as before, I’ll die.”
With immunotherapy not on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, the treatment costs $5000 per round – which comes every three weeks for a number of years.
Ms Pittock and her husband have set up a GoFundMe page in a bid to help pay for her treatment.
Anyone wanting to donate to the Halls Head mother can reach her pagehere.