Cancer Centre patient undergoes 100th treatment cycle

A female patients sits in a chair surrounded by four female nurses.
Margaret Amm celebrates her 100th cycle of cancer treatment with nurses Jane Conchie, Annmarie Conroy, Laura Kevan and Dr Hilary Martin.
March 27, 2019

Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) Cancer Centre patient Margaret Amm has marked the incredible milestone of her 100th cycle of cancer treatment.

The 69-year-old grandmother said she still remembers the initial shock of being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2007.

“It took a bit of time to process and accept my diagnosis, and that this would be an on-going journey for the rest of my life,” Margaret said.

Metastatic breast cancer can spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body. After undergoing six doses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Margaret’s cancer spread to her spine a few years later. She now attends FSH every three weeks for treatment.

On the day of her 100th treatment, Margaret said she felt blessed to be alive.

“There have been many people close to me who have passed away, so I’m very grateful for the treatment I’ve received and I appreciate every day,” she said.

FSH Medical Oncologist Dr Hilary Martin said it was significant for someone to undergo as many treatments as Margaret.

“The median survival of metastatic breast cancer is around five years, so most patients don't end up receiving 100 cycles of the same treatment,” Dr Martin said.

Having lived with this disease for more than 11 years, Margaret said keeping busy and staying positive had helped make her prognosis and treatment more bearable – and part of that includes helping others.

“I lead a support group for men with advanced prostate cancer. The symptoms they have are very similar to those of metastatic breast cancer,” Margaret said.

Margaret is also the face of FSH Cancer Centre education videos, used to support and educate patients undergoing treatment.

“I always encourage other patients to listen to the staff and the people around you,” Margaret said.

“The staff have been on this journey with me since the beginning and I can’t speak more highly of them. They treat you like a person rather than a number and are happy to answer all of your questions.”

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