Doctor who held his own 'wake' after being diagnosed with terminal cancer beats disease after taking disused drug
Drug formed a hard tissue around the liver tumours which made them easier to remove
15:37 GMT, 23 July 2012
A doctor who held his own 'wake' after being diagnosed with terminal cancer has revealed he beat the disease after taking a disused drug.
Dr Rami Seth, 70, was given just weeks to live when he was diagnosed with four 10p-sized tumours in his liver in 2005.
The father-of-two, who worked as a GP and surgeon for 40 years, threw his own wake for 200 family and friends so he could 'say goodbye'.
But after speaking to a colleague about
cancer treatments he took a disused anti-cancer drug called beta
interferon which shrank the tumours making it easier for surgeons to
Dr Rami Seth organised his own wake when he was told his liver cancer was terminal
Dr Seth, an expert in urology at City Hospital in Nottingham, stunned medics by being given the all clear.
He said: 'The tumours were too big and they were inaccessible for surgery.
There was only one outcome and when I was told they were inoperable I knew it was game over.
'I had a few weeks to live and that was it. I wanted to say goodbye to my friends and family so I held my own wake.
'I said to my friends, 'some of you will come to my funeral and say very nice things about me, but I want to hear them now', so we had a party.'
Dr Seth was first diagnosed with cancer in his right kidney in June 2004. He had the organ removed but a year later the cancer had returned and doctors found four malignant tumours in his liver.
Another 10p-sized tumour was discovered in a large vein in the abdomen known as the inferior vena cava.
The growths were declared inoperable and despite a second opinion, Dr Seth was told he had just weeks to live.
But after he held his wake in the summer of 2005, his colleague Professor Poulam Patel suggested he try an anti-cancer drug first developed in the 1960s.
Dr Seth worked for years at Nottingham Urology Centre at City Hospital
Dr Seth said: 'Professor Patel told me of this very old anti-cancer drug which only works in around one in five patients.
'I thought I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try. One of the reasons the drug was not used was because it had awful side effects.
'Patients would feel sleepy, depressed and it would knock you out for two days and then you would have to take the drug again.
'I took it and felt awful but it worked.'
Incredibly, ten months after taking the drug three times a week, Dr Seth went under the knife at St James' Infirmary in Leeds where surgeons successfully removed the tumours.
He said: 'The drug formed a hard tissue around the tumours which isolated them and made them easier to remove.
'It has been a long road to recovery but I feel so very lucky to be here and these days I live life to the full.'
Dr Seth, from Wollaton, Nottingham, was diagnosed again with cancer in 2009 when a lump was discovered in his right lung but it was removed and he has been in remission for three years.
He has now written a book called 'Going Into Hospital' which gives tips for patients about how to avoid diseases in hospital.
Dr Seth, who also travels the world as an after dinner speaker on the subject, said: 'In this country alone, 100,000 patients suffer from deep vein thrombosis.
'A third of these then die. When people go into hospital they must exercise even a little bit and make sure they wash and change their clothes as they would do when they are at home.
'Personal hygiene seems to go out of the window when someone is in hospital when it should be the one of the most important things to keep on top of to avoid infection.'