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Cancer is in remission for teen forced to have chemo.

Byline: Dave Collins

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A 17-year-old Connecticut girl who was forced to undergo chemotherapy by the state after she and her mother refused treatment is happy her cancer is in remission but still upset she had no choice in the matter.

The girl, identified in court documents only as Cassandra C., told The Associated Press in a phone interview Monday that she believes alternative treatments would have had the same result as chemotherapy. A recent medical scan showed no signs of the Hodgkin lymphoma that was diagnosed in September, and she expects to complete chemo next month.

''I was really happy,'' she said about learning the cancer was in remission. ''It kind of made it a lot easier to accept everything that has gone on here. I'm still never going to be completely happy with how this happened, having this treatment forced upon me. ... It's my body.''

Cassandra remains confined at Connecticut Children's Medical Center in Hartford under the temporary custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

A Juvenile Court hearing is scheduled for next week on a request by Cassandra and her mother to end the DCF custody so she can go home immediately instead of having to wait until the chemo is over, said her lawyer, assistant public defender Joshua Michtom. Cassandra said DCF has prohibited her from having any contact with her mother and she hasn't seen her mom since New Year's.

Cassandra said she didn't want to poison her body with chemotherapy and wanted to explore alternative treatments -- a course of action her mother supported. Doctors had said chemo would give her an 85 percent chance of survival.

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Author:Collins, Dave
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Geographic Code:1U1CT
Date:Mar 10, 2015
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