My cancer ‘miracle’ proves research saves lives

Margaret Duffy has spoken out about her own battle ahead of World Cancer Day.

My cancer ‘miracle’ proves research saves lives Mark Anderson
Solidarity: Margaret Duffy with her daughter Marise Nelson.

A grandmother who has overcome cancer twice has called for a showing of solidarity for those affected by the disease ahead of World Cancer Day on Tuesday.

Margaret Duffy, from Glasgow, has spoken out about her own battle with cancer as she prepares to mark the international awareness day this week.

The 78-year-old, a retired English teacher, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 and endured almost three years of treatment.

Mrs Duffy, however, suffered another blow in the summer of 2018 when she discovered a lump in her right breast and was told she had breast cancer. She completed her treatment last month.

She said: “Almost a miracle, that’s what it felt like when a scan showed that I was finally clear of ovarian cancer.

“The ovarian tumour had been 5cm in size when it was diagnosed and I had chemotherapy, surgery then when the cancer came back twice more chemotherapy.

“I have a wonderful family, kind and supportive friends but it felt frightening.”

Mrs Duffy will be watching as the Scottish Power headquarters, where her daughter Marise Nelson works, are lit up in pink and blue in support of all those with cancer and in memory of loved ones.

It will also mark the partnership between the energy company and Cancer Research UK.

Mrs Duffy, a grandmother of nine, said she was still here because of research into the disease and urged people to support World Cancer Day.

She added: “My love of life kept me going and it wasn’t until years later when I was told I had breast cancer that for the first time I actually thought I might die from cancer.

“Now I’m through cancer again I feel like I’ve been given a second chance. It’s thanks to research I’m still here today.”

Scottish Power has raised more than £25m for Cancer Research UK through a variety of initiatives and events.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “We’d like to thank Margaret, Marise and family for their support and for showing how important it is for everyone to wear a Unity Band on World Cancer Day.”

Meanwhile, Scotland-based charity Worldwide Cancer Research has announced the first research project to receive its financial backing for 2020.

It is awarding £233,500 to a project by Dr Maite Huarte, based in Spain, that aims to identify new ways to treat drug-resistant bowel cancer – the third most common cancer in Scotland.