"I firmly believe those of us that have gone through cancer treatments are pioneers for the ultimate cure or management of cancer in years to come."
Alfred has become involved in our work as a Cancer Campaigns Ambassador and a member of our Precision Medicine Communications group. He tells us why he thinks it's important for people with experience of cancer to get involved and what motivated him to help us to communicate with patients and the public about precision medicine.
What motivated you to get involved in our work?
For over 5 years, I underwent a trials programme funded by Cancer Research UK called STAMPEDE. I am living proof of a drug trial that worked and as such an ideal candidate for being involved. I have gone through emotional turmoil as well as the confusion of chemo fog because of the medication, and I still go through side effects associated with these medications now. Because of this, I feel that I have much to offer those tasked with researching, as well as those newly diagnosed and going through treatment.
Why was it important to you that people affected by cancer are being consulted?
When you suffer from cancer, you tend to read a great deal of information in a bid to understand your condition, new treatments, and research developments. In doing so one beginds to understand what information is most useful and what needs to be discarded because of the style of writing, use of terminology and ease of understanding. Reviewing information about precision medicine allowed us to help make sure it's being presented in a way that all can understand.
How would you describe your experience of being involved in the group?
It is an educational, thought-provoking experience where along with others we are asked to make very important decisions that impact on the public. The interaction from all proves invaluable in coming to an agreed conclusion.
What have you learnt from this experience of being involved?
The experiences I take away are those of knowledge, information with regards to advances made, new friends and a deeper desire and commitment to do what I can to assist in the fight against cancer.