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Calls for more research into smoking risks for women

More research is needed into the link between smoking and the development of breast cancer in women over 50, US scientists said.

The call comes as a new study from the US National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, found that women who smoked after menopause were 19% more likely to develop cancer.

Read: New link between smoking and breast cancer

DR Sarah Nyante said her study adds to the growing body of evidence of the association between smoking and increased breast cancer risk.

Previous studies have investigated this relationship, but questions remained regarding the extent to which other breast cancer risk factors, such as alcohol intake, might influence the results.

More work is now needed to understand the mechanisms behind the link between smoking and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

Former smokers '7% more likely to get breast cancer'

Scientists in the US have established a new link between increased risk of breast cancer in older women and exposure to tobacco smoke.

Read: New link between smoking and breast cancer

The results held true even after accounting for increased alcohol consumption levels, which has already been established as a risk factor.

Former smokers were found to have a 7% higher chance of developing the deadly disease than those who had never smoked.

  • US scientists who tracked the progress of 186,000 women aged between 50 and 71 found that those who smoked were 19% more to develop breast cancer than those who had not ever smoked
  • Women who previously smoked but had managed to give up were 7% more at risk

New breast cancer drug 'a lifesaver'

A new drug for terminal breast cancer sufferers is "a lifesaver" for women who have had been having chemeo therapy for a long time, one patient told Daybreak.

Mani Coulter said Kadcyla reduced the cancer "immediately" and had "minimal" side effects because it was a targeted drug.

Read: New breast cancer drug availalbe for UK terminal patients

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Roll out of new breast cancer drug 'a huge step forward'

Plans to roll out a "revolutionary" breast cancer drug across the UK are "a huge step forward", according to health campaigners.

Kadcyla will be available on the cancer drugs fund, a move which will make "a significant difference" to breast cancer sufferers who have stopped responding to chemo, according to Dr Caitlin Palframan.

Kadcyla has been shown to extend life by up to six months in HER2-positive secondary breast cancer patients, and with more manageable side effects than alternative drugs.

It has the potential to provide women with a better quality of life in their final months than existing treatments, which could make a significant difference.

A thousand women die from metastatic, or secondary, breast cancer every month in the UK and this treatment has the potential to provide some of them not only with additional time, but importantly, quality time to spend with their friends and families.

– Dr Caitlin Palframan Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Read: New breast cancer drug made widely available

New breast cancer drug made widely available

A breast cancer drug for women who have stopped responding to conventional medicine has been launched in the UK.

Kadcyla - also called T-DM1 - will be given to terminal patients who have stopped responding to more established medicines, like Herceptin and chemotherapy.

Cancer
Breast cancer sufferers may life for another six months of the drug, experts said. Credit: Reuters

It is only suitable for patients with the defective Her2 gene and trial results have shown it can extend life by six months compared with treatment with two other drugs, lapatinib (Tyverb) and capecitabine (a type of chemotherapy).

Kadcyla is administered intravenously once every three weeks.

Breast Cancer Campaign's Mia Rosenblatt said: "Today's announcement that this revolutionary new drug is now available to patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer (around 20% of those with breast cancer), is really encouraging news.

"It has been shown to extend life by up to six months and have more manageable side effects than other existing treatments."

TV personalities back new breast cancer campaign

Eastender's Barbara Windsor, TV presenter Gloria Hunniford and Harry Potter actress Miriam Margoyles, have all thrown their support behind the new "Be Clear on Cancer" campaign.

Barbara Windsor arriving at Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show 2012,
Barbara Windsor arriving at Breast Cancer Care Fashion Show 2012 Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Windsor, 76, who plays Peggy Mitchell in the popular soap said she met a lot of women affected by breast cancer when preparing for Peggy Mitchell’s diagnosis in EastEnders, which made her realise "just how important an early diagnosis is".

TV and radio presenter Gloria Hunniford is also backing the campaign targeted at women aged 70 and over following the loss of her daughter to the disease."I know firsthand, having lost my daughter Caron, the impact breast cancer can have on people’s lives," she said.

Margoyles, known for her role playing Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter film series, said: "I have always had big boobs and I want to hang on to them. My advice - be vigilant and get checked out if you’re concerned - it could save your breasts and your life."

Read: Women aged 70+ most at risk of breast cancer death

Women aged 70+ most at risk of breast cancer death

One in 3 women diagnosed with breast cancer in England each year is aged 70 or over, new figures from Public Health England show, accounting for more than half of all breast cancer deaths annually.

A consultant analyzing a mammogram
A consultant analyzing a mammogram Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Around 13,500 women aged 70 and over are diagnosed with breast cancer in England each year, yet survival rates are lower in this age group compared to younger women. Lack of awareness is believed to be one of the reasons for this, which a new campaign, "Be Clear on Cancer" aims to change.

Two thirds of women aged 70 and over (67%) wrongly think women of all ages are equally likely to get breast cancer, when in fact a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with age.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Regional Director at Public Health England said women over 70 are more likely to delay heading to their GP, which could ultimately affect their chance of survival.

"One in 3 women who get breast cancer are over 70 , so don’t assume you’re past it or dismiss any symptoms as a sign of ageing," she said.

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