When you were in Ballarat last November you asked me to write of my experience with breast cancer to encourage women with the same problem to try alternative treatment.

Early in 2001, I felt a lump in my left breast. As it was very painful and movable I thought it was a cyst. I waited two months before seeing a surgeon. In that time it didn’t alter. I had tests and a biopsy, which gave a diagnosis of cancer.

My surgeon wanted to do a mastectomy with removal of the lymph nodes or a lumpectomy with removal of the lymph nodes, six weeks’ radiotherapy and Tamoxifen to follow.

I refused all this and just had a lumpectomy. Returning to my surgeon, I was told he had cut too close to the tumour and I would have to return to the hospital for the removal of more tissue. I was very sick after the second operation and then developed pleurisy and pneumonia. My surgeon had also wanted to experiment before the first operation by injecting dye into my breast and seeing which lymph nodes it affected. I also refused this. I was in almost constant pain for months at the site of the operation after reopening the incision.

After recovering from the pleurisy and pneumonia, I went to a clinic in Victoria for several weeks to have B17 and vitamin C intravenously. Since then I have returned to normal living which I am certain I would not have done after the treatment of radiotherapy and Tamoxifen. Sorry I have not written sooner but I feel more confident now that alternative treatment is working for me. I am careful of my diet and eat apricot kernels every day.