Breast cancer drug plans

Women in England and Wales with a family history of breast cancer could be offered preventative medication on the NHS, the drug watchdog National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence has suggested in a consultation.

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Mum favours breast cancer drug course for daughter

Women who have a family history of breast cancer could soon be offered drugs on the NHS to try to prevent them getting the disease.

Frances Haworth, who had a double mastectomy after discovering a faulty gene that could have seen her breast cancer return, explains how the new drug provision will affect the way her daughter and sister will look to stave off the cancer.

She discusses the treatment options with ITV News Presenter Nina Hossain and Medical Editor Lawrence McGinty.

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Dr Hilary: Offer of medication is 'historic breakthrough'

Healthy women who have a family history of breast cancer could be offered drugs on the NHS to cut their chances of contracting the disease.

Dr Hilary told ITV Daybreak that the offer of medication is a 'historic breakthrough' against cancer prevention.

Currently a draft consultation, he added that the challenge lies with the ability to roll these drugs out across the country.

Cancer causes are 'complex and not fully known'

The causes of cancer are complex and not fully known.However, we do know that having a family history of breast, ovarian or a related cancer can significantly increase the risk of developing breast cancer - including developing the cancer at a younger age.

It is also more likely that people with family members affected by cancer who then develop breast cancer themselves could develop a separate tumour in the other breast following initial treatment.

This is why it's wise for any person with a family history of cancer to receive appropriate investigations and screening that would otherwise be unnecessary if a family history did not exist.This guideline was last updated in 2006. Since then there has been new evidence published and new advances made in a number of clinical areas

– Professor Mark Baker, director of the Centre for Clinical Practice at Nice

Women with a high risk of breast cancer could be offered 'preventative' drugs

A previous clinical trial found that tamoxifen, taken for five years, reduced the risk of developing invasive breast cancer by about 50% in post-menopausal women who were at increased risk of getting the disease.

Another trial found that five years of raloxifene reduces breast cancer risk in such women by about 38%.

Under the new plans, high risk post-menopausal women could be offered the drugs for a period of five years unless they have a history of thromboembolic disease or endometrial cancer.

'Historic step' in breast cancer prevention

This draft guideline represents an historic step for the prevention of breast cancer - it is the first time drugs have ever been recommended for reducing breast cancer risk in the UK.This is exciting as, even though most women do not have a significant family history of the disease, it's crucial that those who do have an array of options to help them control their risk.

An update to this guideline is long overdue and we're especially pleased it has been extended to include both women who have had breast cancer, and men, for the first time.

Once finalised, this guideline will pose new challenges for the NHS as it will need to deliver on its recommendations, including a potentially large increase in genetic testing.

– Chris Askew, chief executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer

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At risk women could get preventative breast cancer drugs

Women with a family history of breast cancer could be offered preventative medication on the NHS under new plans outlined by the health regulator.

Officials are examining whether women who are at "high risk" of developing the disease should be offered hormone therapy to prevent breast cancer.

At risk women could get preventative breast cancer drugs

The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) has launched a draft consultation to see whether drugs tamoxifen or raloxifene should be offered to high-risk post-menopausal women in England and Wales.

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