A BREAST cancer survivor from Ilminster said it is fantastic news that half of women are predicted to live for at least ten years after being diagnosed.

New figures show great progress in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer over the past four decades, and Linda Vijeh, who was diagnosed ten years ago, said it gives other women hope.

After being diagnosed, Linda’s relationship broke down and she was forced to sell her home and fly to India to receive the drug Herceptin, which was only available in the UK once cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

She said: “At the time it felt like the end of the world because I thought I would never have a relationship again, but in hindsight I realised I was wrong.

“Women should know that you can get through it and in my particular case it was the post operative care at Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital that made me become and member and then a governor because they were fantastic.

“It is not necessarily the cancer that affects you at first, unless it is in the late stages or terminally, because in the early stages there is no pain but it is the mental effect it has on the family and the perception that you are a cancer sufferer.”

Linda feels there should be more money put into looking after the repercussions of cancer on people and their families, not just research.