Woman with breast cancer starts charity in research bid
Lisa Fleming, 35, described stage four cancer as the 'forgotten form' of the disease.
An Edinburgh woman who has stage four secondary breast cancer has set up a charity in a bid to fund research into the incurable disease.
Lisa Fleming, 35, said not enough people are aware of the illness despite 954 people dying of the illness in Scotland last year.
After going to see her GP with back pain two years ago Lisa was told it was probably hormonal. She insisted on being referred to hospital and then received the news that she actually had stage four secondary breast cancer, something she had never heard of before.
She said "I don't think anything can ever prepare you to a, be told you have breast cancer, but b, that it had spread to other parts of your body".
Secondary breast cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system.
Only between five and nine percent of funding for breast cancer currently goes to this kind of research.
While it is incurable it is treatable.
After emergency surgery and rounds of chemotherapy, Lisa's cancer is stable.
Experts in the field say funding is vital if they are to extend patients lives.
Lisa's oncologist Dr Olga Oikonomidou said: "So far the research has been focused on preventing the cancer but we also need to focus on making our patients lives easier.
"We need to extend lives but at the same time provide an excellent quality of life.
"Unless we identify and better understand the cancer biology we are not going to be be able to offer that to our patients".
Lisa has now set up a charity called "Make 2nds Count" in the hope of raising one hundred thousand pounds to support more research.