A 69-year-old Willington grandmother who started using cannabis oil after being diagnosed with breast cancer is confident she has beaten the disease - after a malignant tumour disappeared.
Lin Coxon decided to start using cannabis oil on June 28 following the cancer diagnosis, which had seen the disease invading her lymph nodes.
The malignant tumour grew to measure 33mm, but now her latest scan has revealed no tumour and "just small wisps which could be scar tissue," according to the grandmother.
Lin, who works as South Derbyshire MP Heather Wheeler's personal assistant, says she feels "great" - and has even escaped a cold throughout the winter months.
"The latest scan showed no signs of a tumour, last time a small wisp could be seen which was hardly visible and six months on it is still there but the doctors said this could be scar tissue," she said.
"The main thing is that the scan shows nothing has changed in six months and the cancer has not gone anywhere else, doctors never say you are clear of cancer but I just feel great and really healthy.
"I haven't even had a cold since taking it and last winter I had four."
While waiting for her treatment to start Lin decided to take the oil - which is legal and sold without the psychoactive component which causes a high - after reading how it had helped treat other patients, including Asda worker Karen Roberts from Derby.
It was reported that Karen had been sent home to die with terminal cancer but she took the oil – and now, two years later, is in remission.
Lin, a grandmother-of-10, was initially told her treatment would involve eight rounds of chemotherapy followed by a lumpectomy and the removal of all the lymph nodes.
This would then have to be followed by radiotherapy. But by the time she was due to start chemotherapy a scan revealed the tumour had shrunk drastically.
She then refused medical intervention as she wanted to see if the oil would continue to work, but doctors agreed to monitor her progress.
The oil has not yet been approved for use on the NHS - but is readily available to buy at around £40 a bottle - and has been widely reported to help other conditions such as arthritis, depression and MS.
Lin has told how medical research has shown positive results with the use of the oil but so far no medical trials have taken place and she is calling on the Government and Cancer Research to take action, according to the Derby Telegraph.
Dr Catherine Pickworth, of Cancer Research UK, said: "Researchers have been studying potential cancer-fighting chemicals found in cannabis for a while – but like any new treatment, these should only be used to treat patients once there's evidence that they improve outcomes.
"This is not to say that cannabinoids have no future role in cancer treatment, and Cancer Research UK supports clinical trials to treat cancer with cannabinoid drugs. But as it stands, we still need proper trials to know if they are effective, for what types of cancer, and at what dose.
"We don't advise patients to use cannabis oil or any alternative therapies to treat cancer. Standard medical treatments for cancer are all evidence-based so have been tested to see how safe and effective they are. Some 'natural' remedies can interfere with medical treatment so it's really important that patients speak to their doctor before making any decisions."
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: "It is for local NHS commissioners to make decisions on whether to fund new treatments, taking into account National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidance, available evidence and individual patients' clinical circumstances.
"The future availability of any new or novel treatments would be subject to large-scale clinical trials demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the treatment approach and subsequent assessments of its cost-effectiveness for routine use."
Lin said she wanted to see medical trials testing the oil on patients who want to take part while they are awaiting cancer treatment - as they have nothing to lose. If they then see no positive benefits they can go ahead with traditional treatment methods such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
She added that she has also been contacted by many other people who had had similar positive experiences.
She said: "Since I spoke of my initial success with the oil in October, I have been contacted by other people who have had similar positive experiences – so I really think there is something in it. I just think it has to be looked into further as more people could be helped without the need for medical intervention – and that would also save the NHS a lot of money.
"I cannot say cannabis oil will work for anyone else but my experience would seem to show it is worth trying. I feel people have nothing to lose – especially if they are waiting for chemotherapy. It may only help for some cancers – we won't know, though, until research takes place."
Research into the benefits of taking cannabis oil
Research into the health benefits of taking cannabinoids – particularly for cancer – is currently being undertaken at St George's, University of London, whose medical experts have been in contact with Lin.
Dr Wai Liu, senior research fellow at St George's, University of London, said: "I was very interested to hear of Lin's case. Cannabidiol, which is just one element of the cannabis plant and one that does not have any psychoactive effect on people, has been shown to target communication signals that are malfunctioning in cancer cells.
"It is thought that, by correcting these signals, we can enable cancer cells to essentially die rather than duplicate. So it may hold the key to understanding how to defeat cancer in some areas.
"We at St George's, University of London, have shown how this can be done. Although our data has mainly been laboratory-based, we have a growing and large collection of testimony from patients using cannabidiol, usually in a cannabis oil type product, who report positive effects on their battle with this dreadful disease.
"Lin's story is one that adds to this growing list and we wish her all the best in her treatment, which should always be under the supervision of her doctors."
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