A cancer researcher has described her mum’s diagnosis of stage four breast cancer as a ‘ticking time-bomb’ and is appealing to the South’s philanthropists to invest in the life-saving research she carries out.

Anna Song, who runs clinical trials to identify the best new ways to detect and treat cancer at the Cancer Research UK funded Southampton Clinical Trials Unit (SCTU), is backing the charity’s appeal calling for urgent support to overcome what her peers have penned as ‘the defining health issue of our time’.

The senior trial manager and pregnant mum-of-two from Chandlers Ford is supporting the launch of Cancer Research UK’s More Research, Less Cancer campaign, which aims to raise £400m to help accelerate progress in the fight against the disease. 

READ MORE: Toddler making remarkable recovery from rare stroke

Anna, who originally worked with young cancer patients as a clinical pharmacist, said: “When I was working with children on the paediatric oncology ward at University Hospital Southampton, it really pulled at your heart strings.

"Part of my role in checking and dispensing treatments was looking ahead to what future options there were available for these patients but sadly, there is a limit to what you can give them.

“It was then that I decided to work in research and focused on oncology because no matter what cancer people are facing, or who they are, we must have options.”

Daily Echo: Southampton researcher, Anna Song, is backing a campaign aimed at driving philanthropists to invest

Anna was just a child herself when her mum, Janet, 62, was first diagnosed with breast cancer. Anna said: “I watched her lose her hair and go through invasive surgery – a double mastectomy to reduce the risk of her cancer returning and it was a time that I grew up earlier than I perhaps would have done otherwise.

“Ten years later, when I was then working in clinical trials, she was re-diagnosed, this time with stage four breast cancer. My world fell apart and I booked a one-way ticket to America where she now lives, to be with her, not knowing when I would return.

“Thanks to the progress we have seen in treatment options and the access that she has to drugs in America, she is living well with her cancer and is regularly monitored, but it feels like a continual, ticking time-bomb.”