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Breast cancer drug denied due to cost

Cancer charities have condemned a decision not to licence a drug being trialled in our region which extends the life of women suffering the advanced stages of breast cancer.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence - or NICE - says the drug "Perjeeta" isn't cost effective.

Perjeeta is currently being tested on women through the Christie Hospital in Manchester - but it isn't routinely available on the NHS.

Cancer charities and women taking the drug want NICE to reconsider .

Ashley Derricott reports.

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Life saving treatment closer to home

Public health minister Anna Soubry Credit: PA Images

Cancer patients who currently travel abroad for a special type of radiotherapy will soon be able to get it in Manchester.

Public health minister Anna Soubry said £250 million is being committed to The Christie in Manchester and a hospital in London to deliver proton beam therapy.

The therapy targets tumours more precisely, causing less damage to surrounding tissue and fewer side-effects.

Some very rare cancers including tumours affecting the base of skull or spine can especially benefit from the therapy.

The treatment is also suitable for complex childhood cancers.

At present, children and adults needing proton beam therapy are sent to the United States but the new service means more patients will be treated.

From 2018, it will be offered to up to 1,500 cancer patients per year at the Christie and University College London Hospitals.

Ms Soubry said: "We want the NHS to have the best cancer treatments available in the world.

"By investing in proton beam therapy facilities, we will be able to treat more patients in the UK and reduce the stress placed on families who have had to travel to the United States to receive this innovative treatment."

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Statistics on sunbed usage in Liverpool

A campaign to reduce the number of teenage girls using sunbeds in Liverpool is being launched. Liverpool City Council have published these statistics about sunbed use:

  • 50% of girls in Liverpool aged 15-17 have used a sunbed before
  • The national average in the 15-17 age range is 11%
  • 40% of sunbed users aged 11-17 in Liverpool use them at least once a week
  • Teenage girls and their mothers in Liverpool felt using the sunbed 2-3 times a week between 3-6 minutes was 'normal' and 'safe'
  • The average age girls start using the sunbed in Liverpool is between 13-14

Campaign to reduce teenage sunbed use in Liverpool

A swimwear model using a sunbed
A swimwear model using a sunbed. Credit: PA Photos

A campaign to reduce the number of teenage girls using sunbeds is being launched in Liverpool. Half of young women between 15 and 17 are believed to have used them.

Liverpool City Council says the national average is just 11%. They also say the average age girls start using sunbeds in Liverpool is between 13 and 14.

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