Thousands of women with breast cancer could benefit from the new NHS-approved pill

THOUSANDS of women with breast cancer could benefit from a new pill.

Abemaciclib is approved by the NHS and can reduce the chance of the disease coming back after a tumor has been removed.

Women with a certain type of breast cancer could be offered a new twice-daily pill by the NHS


Women with a certain type of breast cancer could be offered a new twice-daily pill by the NHSCredit: PA

In the UK, over 50,000 cases of this condition occur in women each year.

Breast cancer is the term for all types of cancer that first develop in the breast tissue – there are many different types.

Nearly 1,000 people die from the disease each month in the UK, with the disease killing around 11,500 women and 80 men each year.

Eli Lilly’s new twice-daily pill is set to be given to over 4,000 women in healthcare.

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Medical professionals say it is suitable for women who are at high risk of recurrence and have had surgery.

These women have early-stage hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative, node-positive breast cancer.

It is the most common type of the disease, accounting for about 70 percent of all cases.

It is estimated that early-stage breast cancer comes back in about 30 percent of people after initial treatment.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now, said: “It is fantastic that thousands of women with this type of primary breast cancer now have an additional treatment option available in the NHS to further reduce the risk of the disease coming back.

“The fear of breast cancer returning or spreading to other parts of their body and becoming incurable can be a source of significant anxiety for so many women and their loved ones.

“Therefore, effective new treatments such as abemaciclib, which may offer more women the opportunity to further reduce the risk of disease recurrence, are extremely welcome and an important step forward in terms of drug options available for this patient population.”

What Are the Breast Cancer Symptoms in Women?

For most women, the first sign or symptom of breast cancer is a lump or area of ​​thickened tissue in their breasts.

Although 90 percent of these lumps aren’t cancerous, it’s important to get them checked out by your GP as soon as possible — detecting the disease early can mean treatment is more effective.

It’s therefore crucial to be “breast aware” – knowing what feels normal to you and what changes to look out for.

One in three women don’t check their breasts regularly, and a fifth of these women say it’s because they don’t know how.

Although the majority of women know that they feel unusual lumps and bumps, there are other, lesser-known signs and symptoms as well.

Results from a clinical study showed that those who took the pills along with hormone therapy had a more than 30 percent better chance of their cancer not coming back after surgery compared to hormone therapy alone.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) made the decision to offer the drug through the NHS.

Helen Knight, Nice’s interim director for drug evaluation, said that until now there had been no targeted treatments for people with this type of breast cancer.

“Abemaciclib with hormone therapy represents a significant improvement in treatment because the ability to target treatment earlier after surgery increases the chances of recovering from the disease and reduces the likelihood of developing an incurable advanced disease,” she added.

NHS England Cancer Director Professor Peter Johnson said the decision will expand the NHS’ arsenal to fight cancer.

He added that it will help increase the chances of beating cancer for good.

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Sarah Y. Kim

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