Amanda Gould was recently told that a cancer she was diagnosed with eight years ago had returned in her lungs. While that news is devastating on its own, doctors also told her there was no way to remove the tumour—at least, not in Canada. At this point, all Canadian doctors can do is stabilize the tumour as much as possible and offer her palliative care.
That’s why she’s heading to Germany to receive a treatment known as regional chemotherapy. In Canada, this type of treatment is only used for pancreatic cancer, some abdominal cancers and certain melanomas, but it’s not an approved treatment for others.
The treatment works by pumping anti-cancer drugs through an artery to directly target a tumour instead of the whole body.
So, why isn’t it an option for Canadians? Doctors say there isn’t substantive evidence from clinical trials to expand the reach of regional chemotherapy for other types of cancer.
Many Canadians have spent tens of thousands of dollars, or more, for regional chemotherapy sessions in Germany or elsewhere, hoping for an extension of life. There’s no promise of a cure, though patients say it’s worth it even if it only means a little more time with their loved ones.
And the problem isn’t just limited to Canada. A woman from the U.K. sold her home to afford the treatment.
Amanda, on the other hand, has started a GoFundMe page, which has so far raised almost $50,000 of her $200,000 goal.