Jan Egerton of Old Eldon, County Durham, United Kingdom, had already beaten the odds by surviving with mesothelioma for eight years after her diagnosis. Most patients with her condition are only given a few months to live, but Egerton wanted to not only live with her mesothelioma, she wanted to be rid of it.
Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lining of the lungs that is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers or particles. The death toll is very high, and the life expectancy after diagnosis is short. Few treatments exist that have any affect on the cancer tumors. Egerton’s tumors were so large that she was refused radiation therapy. She sought another method of treatment, and she found it a world away in Los Angeles, California, United States.
After a journey to another continent, Egerton and her husband, Gary, found themselves at the UCLA hospital, which offered the innovative cryoablation treatment. At a cost of GBP5,000 per session, the therapy did not come cheaply for Egerton, who had to undergo two sessions, but she has seen improvements in her overall health since having it done.
The therapy involved freezing and reheating the tumors until they die, but even after the treatments, Egerton was told that she would need surgery to remove the lining of her lung where the tumors had been. Cryoablation had well known as a prostate cancer treatment option, but researchers with the help of volunteers like Jan Egerton hope that they can make it a more widely known option for mesothelioma.
According to Jan Egerton, “The treatment has made day-to-day life easier. It has stopped me getting so many back aches. And if we manage to clear all the tumours, it will take at least five years for it to grow back, giving me at least five years to live.”