Dianne Olds was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February 2012, at the age of 66. She had had no previous symptoms, but suddenly developed jaundice and a blood test and scan confirmed the tumour.
‘I was told it was not operable and started on gemcitabine chemotherapy,’ said Dianne. A stent was fitted for the liver blockage, but Dianne suffered repeated infections requiring hospital admissions and the removal of her gallbladder.
Then Dianne was told of a study at Garvan using a combined chemotherapy of abraxane with gemcitabine. Although she couldn’t join the study, Dianne did opt to try this, even though the cost was almost $1000 per weekly dose.
‘After two months on the combined treatment, my tumour had shrunk so dramatically that surgery became an option,’ she said.