New test at Epworth promises to revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers.
Nat Deague was a happy, healthy wife and mother of two, leading a busy life when she noticed a lump during a gym workout in
September last year.
Doctors told Nat she had stage four incurable follicular lymphoma which led her down the path of a series of painful biopsies, scans, blood tests and chemotherapy.
After exploring a range of options, Nat sought out the opinion of renowned Epworth haematologist Professor Miles Prince.
Prof Prince gave Nat a very different diagnosis. He noticed that her tumour had been present for a while and was not progressing rapidly, meaning Nat’s disease was in stage two and she had a good chance of beating it.
Now 46, Nat is having ongoing chemotherapy and antibody treatment to keep the blood cancer in remission.
She is now an advocate for further cancer research, raising more than $600,000 at a cocktail event for Epworth Medical Foundation in partnership with the Snowdome Foundation, so that further research can occur. A further $600,000 was generously donated by the Epworth Medial Foundation for this vital research.
Nat is now feeling positive and very thankful under the watchful eye of Epworth’s Professor Miles Prince.
“What happened to me can happen to anyone, it’s clear that nobody is immune to blood cancer,” Nat said.
Nat hopes the ctDNA blood test offers an alternative option for patients and leads researchers to buy further time for patients suffering from cancer.
“I hope this research can now be used to help other people and improve their quality of their life during their treatment.
“Having gone through treatment myself I know the biopsies were quite painful for a month after, so for other patients, the ctDNA test offers less invasive testing than I endured.”
Watch the full piece on Channel Nine News.