A mum is fighting an aggressive form of breast cancer after contracting various versions of the disease five separate times.
Melanie Aghanya, 46, was first told she had cancerous lumps in her breasts in 2011.
Since then, the mum-of-three has had ten operations in the past eight years, most recently on January 16.
The harrowing treatment she has experienced included having a mastectomy and having her ovaries removed, putting her into early menopause at only 37-years-old.
She avoided chemotherapy until being diagnosed with aggressive stage 3 breast cancer in April 2018, when she reluctantly decided to go ahead despite the side effects.
But in December last year, she was told four cancerous areas had been found in her underarms.
Melanie, from Duddingston, Edinburgh, is trying to raise £10,000 to pay for alternative cancer treatment in London – so she can stay alive and be a mum to Daisy, 17, Grace, ten, and nine-year-old Zoba.
She praised the treatment she received on the NHS, but hopes to be able to get treatment from the Care Oncology Clinic in London.
Melanie said: “I have been so fortunate to be treated by the NHS in Scotland.
"The hospital I attend has one of world’s leading breast cancer units.
“My consultant attends lectures, seminars and conferences around the world educating other surgeons in best practice and sharing new techniques.
“The nursing staff in the wards are warm, caring, professional and under-appreciated.
"Maggie’s Centre in the hospital grounds has been a huge support to me over the last few years.
“I cannot fault my care at all.
“But, the treatments on offer are limited to surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy and my suggestions of trying any alternatives have been met with disinterest or disapproval."
Melanie is frustrated that other treatment options she believes could mean the difference "between life and death" for her are not available.
"The standard cancer treatment in this country results in over 460 deaths every day. I cannot become one of those statistics," she said.
“I have researched a clinic in London called Care Oncology Clinic.
"They are run by oncologists who have become disillusioned with the treatments offered by the NHS and have set up the clinic to offer alternative treatments to cancer patients.
“Their results are reassuring, ground-breaking and expensive.
“I have also been to see a nutritionist and together we researched which supplements my body needs to boost my immune system and to give me the best chance of stopping the cancer returning, or even worse, spreading to critical organs.”
Melanie described herself as ‘tired, scarred from all the surgery, worn down and so scared that cancer is going to kill me’.
The mum had a consultation on February 20 to discuss her health going back to her childhood.
So far £5,925 has been raised by generous donors.
She wrote on the fundraising page: “Please help me stay alive.”
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