Thousands of incurable breast cancer patients are being denied a dedicated specialist nurse, according to Breast Cancer Care. The figures show almost three-quarters (72%) of NHS Trusts across the UK are not providing designated nurses. Three years ago, the government promised all cancer patients would have access to a designated nurse by 2020. The Department of Health said it was "committed to increasing the capacity" of specialist cancer nurses. Samia al Qadhi, chief executive of charity Breast Cancer Care, hit out at the deterioration in patient care.
Since 2008, breast cancer prevalence has increased by more than 20 percent around the world, and mortality has increased by 14 percent, according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that supports global cancer research. There were nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012. Breast cancer survival rates vary greatly by region and wealth, ranging from at least 80 percent in North America, Sweden and Japan to less than 40 percent in low-income and developing nations, where more cases are diagnosed in later stages, according to the World Health Organization. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is marked in countries across the world each October. These 10 countries had the highest diagnosis rates of breast cancer per 100,000 women in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, according to the U.K.-based World Cancer Research Fund International and The Cancer Atlas.
Combining a pioneering drug with hormone therapy may extend the survival of some women with advanced breast cancer, a trial suggests. Women who received palbociclib and hormone therapy lived up to 10 months longer than those given hormone treatment alone. It also delayed the time at which women needed to begin chemotherapy, which often has debilitating side-effects. Experts say the preliminary results of the trial are very encouraging. But they point out that the treatment is not a cure and will not work for everyone.
CHICAGO – Doubling the duration of hormone therapy for women with early-stage breast cancer from five to 10 years reduces the risk of recurrence and developing tumors in the other breast, a study showed Sunday. The study focused on a type of early-stage breast cancer known as hormone receptor-positive and was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago this weekend. It also appears in the New England Journal of Medicine. Postmenopausal women who took the drug letrozole for a decade instead of an often prescribed five-year period saw a 34 percent lower risk of recurrence or of a new cancer in the other breast than those who received a placebo, according to researchers. Letrozole is an aromatase inhibitor, which stops estrogen production in postmenopausal women.
Experts have developed a potentially "game-changing" test to predict a woman's risk of breast cancer. It combines information on family history and hundreds of genetic markers with other factors, such as weight, to give the most comprehensive assessment possible, says Cancer Research UK. The test is not yet routinely available on the NHS - some GPs and specialists are trialling it first. It is part of a push to spot cancers earlier through tailored screening. Women at high risk could be given preventative treatments or offered more checks, say the researchers.