A round-up of the latest news about breast cancer research, treatments and side effects.
Life-extending drug Kadcyla approved for use on the NHS
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has approved the use of Kadcyla on the NHS in England in what's being called a 'monumental U-turn'. Previously it had rejected the drug, which can extend the life of people with HER2 positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, as being too expensive. While this news is incredibly positive, it's just one part of a bigger picture – this success must now translate to everyone getting the drugs they need, when they need them. This story was covered by the BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Sun.
Scottish Medicines Consortium says ‘no’ to Perjeta
While Kadcyla has been approved, another potentially life-extending drug has been rejected in Scotland. The body responsible for approving NHS drugs in Scotland has said no to a drug that could extend the life of people with incurable secondary breast cancer by more than a year. The Herald Scotland covered the story and featured our statement from Nicholas White, Head of Breast Cancer Care Scotland.
Statins and breast cancer
New research suggests statins could help reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by almost 40%. Statins are drugs prescribed to lower blood cholesterol and are typically prescribed to people with heart disease. As we explained in our statement, this news should be approached with caution as further studies are needed to understand the role that statins might play in treating breast cancer. The Guardian, Daily Express and Daily Mail covered this story.
Treatment for incurable breast cancer
It’s still early days, but a small study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology found treating patients with the drug olaparib may delay cancer growth for people with incurable secondary breast cancer who have inherited an altered BRCA gene. While this study offers a glimmer of hope to those who may have limited treatment options, there’s still a long road of research ahead before this treatment could be within their reach. The Guardian has more information on the study.
Yoga can reduce breast cancer side effects
Yoga has been around for centuries and previous research has shown that it can be useful for people with anxiety and depression. Researchers now believe that yoga can also be beneficial for people who’ve had a breast cancer diagnosis. The Telegraph, The Guardian and Daily Mail reported on two recent studies showing yoga could help cancer patients overcome the side effects of breast cancer treatment by reducing pain and fatigue, as well as improving their emotional wellbeing. If you’re thinking of trying yoga but don’t know where to start, we’ve put together some tips on getting started with yoga after breast cancer treatment.
Cancer survival rates predicted to rise
Experts predict three-quarters of cancer patients will survive for at least 10 years after diagnosis within the next decade. The Daily Mail responded to the prediction while The Spectator discussed what a breast cancer diagnosis means today and Olivia Newton-John’s secondary breast cancer diagnosis.