101-year-old Australian man survives cancer

At 101, Bert Collins has survived two World Wars and fought in one, seen 23 prime ministers - and recently won a battle with cancer.

Tal Polon ,

Cancer research (illustrative)
Cancer research (illustrative)

According to doctors, a 101-year-old man from Sydney, Australia may be one of the oldest people ever to survive cancer.

Born in 1916, Bert Collins has survived two World Wars, fought the Japanese in New Guinea between 1942 and 1945, endured the Great Depression, and seen 23 Prime Ministers preside over Australia during his lifetime.

In addition, Collins was a smoker for a period, taking up the habit during World War II and only quitting in the 60s.

The Daily Telegraph reported that, late last year, Collins was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. Doctors said he had tumors in his brain, liver, bones, and lungs, and had just a few months to live.

However, after four treatments using a breakthrough new treatment in the emerging field of cancer immunotherapy, in which the body’s own immune system is harnessed to fight cancer, Bert’s melanoma disappeared.

Collins attributed his longevity to “luck and attitude.” His story of survival will be discussed later this month at an international cancer conference in Spain.