Veröffentlicht am

Anastrozole finally recognised by NHS for breast cancer prevention

Supported by the UK’s Medicines Repurposing Programme, one drug that has long been used in the fight against breast cancer has just been recognised by the NHS as an official treatment option. 

Some of the world’s most incredible drug discoveries have occurred by accident, with ‘repurposed’ drugs being used throughout history to treat ailments they were never intended for. 

Lithium-based medications used to treat a range of psychiatric disorders were originally designed with gout and bladder stones in mind, and all over the world, chronic migraine sufferers are routinely prescribed a range of epilepsy medications. More recently, the global Ozempic shortages stand as a testament to Semaglutide’s multiple applications. 

Now in the UK, another repurposed drug has finally been recognised by the NHS for its groundbreaking potential to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer in patients, offering a glimmer of hope for up to 289,000 women.

Like what you see? Sign up to our newsletter for more stories like this.

The trailblazing drug is Anastrozole, a hormone therapy drug found to convert the hormone androgen into small amounts of estrogen. Given its known behaviour, doctors soon began incorporating the drug into breast cancer treatment for patients that fit the medication’s requirements. 

Taken as a 1mg tablet, once a day for five years, the drug was found to be effective in treating hormone receptor-positive breast cancer that is reliant on estrogen but did not work on hormone receptor-negative breast cancer patients. 

While Anastrozole has been used for many years as a reliable breast cancer treatment, this week it has finally been licensed in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as a preventive option, allowing many more patients to soon access its benefits. 

“The extension of anastrozole’s licence to cover it being used as a risk-reducing treatment is a major step forward that will enable more eligible women with a significant family history of breast cancer, to reduce their chance of developing the disease,” says Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now in the UK. 

“Anastrozole was the first drug to be supported by the [Medicines Repurposing Programme] and this paves the way for improving access to risk-reducing drugs,” she adds. 

In England, Breast cancer remains the most common cancer, with 47,000 annual diagnoses. In Australia, the numbers mimic a similarly grim reality, with one in seven women diagnosed with the disease in their lifetime. But thanks to improved detection methods and treatment options, all around the world women are armed with a better chance of surviving their diagnosis than ever before. 

“It’s fantastic that this vital risk-reducing option could now help thousands of women and their families avoid the distress of a breast cancer diagnosis, NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard. “Allowing more women to live healthier lives, free of breast cancer is truly remarkable, and we hope that licensing anastrozole for a new use today represents the first step to ensuring this risk-reducing option can be accessed by all who could benefit from it.”

Trials conducted in the UK were found to reduce breast cancer occurrence by almost 50 per cent in post-menopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, an astounding statistic in comparison to other common treatments. 

As estimations predict, if only a quarter of all women in the UK at moderate or high risk of breast cancer (289,000) embark on the five-year treatment course, around 2,000 cases of breast cancer could potentially be prevented. This would equate to saving the NHS around £15 million in treatment costs (that’s nearly $29 million AUD).

Source link

Veröffentlicht am

Healthy-Ish podcast: psychopathy in the workplace

Think you’re working with a psychopath? Well, psychopathy is more common than you might think. Best-selling author and researcher David Gillespie discusses how to spot them in the workplace.


To hear today’s full interview, where he discusses the importance of “psychopath treats”…search for Extra Healthy-ish wherever you get your pods.

His book, Toxic at Work (Macmillan, $36.99) is available here. For more info on David, try here. You can listen to David’s past Healthy-ish interview Why you’re addicted to social media here


Online: Head to for your daily digital dose of health and wellness.

On social: Via Instagram at @bodyandsoul_au or Facebook. Or, TikTok here. Got an idea for an episode? DM host Felicity Harley on Instagram @felicityharley

In print: Each Sunday, grab Body+Soul inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), the Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria), The Sunday Mail (Queensland), Sunday Mail (SA) and Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania). 

Source link

Veröffentlicht am

Is skipping periods with the pill safe? A GP gives the verdict

Seeing as the bleeding you get while on the pill isn’t a normal period, is it OK to skip it? Here’s an expert’s take.

While many take the combined oral contraceptive pill to prevent pregnancy, others take it for various reasons other reasons including to lighten periods and reduce menstrual cramps, to manage acne breakouts and to treat medical conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis.

Another benefit of the combined pill is that it can be used to skip periods, which many do so they’re not dealing with their period each month.

“The main way the combined pill works is to stop ovulation – or the release of an egg by the ovaries – every month. There is no medical reason to have a period when taking the combined pill – the sugar or placebo pills are there to bring on a ‘withdrawal bleed’, which helps shed the lining of the uterus and reduce the risk of unpredictable bleeding,” Kin Fertility GP, Dr Kirsty Wallace-Hor tells Body+Soul.

Here’s 5 Ways To Beat Your Sugar Cravings, For Good

Like what you see? Sign up to our newsletter for more stories like this.

What is extended and continuous cycling?

Extended cycling can be defined as taking birth control pills without taking any breaks between packs, specifically for a length of time over three weeks. Typically, this is done for nine or twelve weeks, but there is no “wrong” duration as long as it is working for you. 

On the other hand, continuous cycling is when women take active hormones each day without any breaks. 

“If you are skipping periods and you get four or more days of spotting, or if you get bleeding like a moderate or heavy period, I recommend stopping any pills for four to seven days. You can restart the hormone pills after this time, even if the bleeding hasn’t completely stopped. It’s important not to do this more than once every four weeks or else the effectiveness of the pill may be reduced,” Dr Wallace-Hor explains.

The mini pill, another form of oral contraceptive, is a progestin-only pill and it does not include hormone-free pills within the pack. Because of this, you can generally take it every day and your period will not be impacted.

What are the side effects of taking the pill continuously?

Breakthrough bleeding or spotting is the most common side effect of long-term pill usage. However, the amount of spotting usually decreases over time. For many women, within a year, they will stop bleeding completely. 

If you do experience breakthrough bleeding where you need to wear a pad or tampons for more than three days, you should take a break for four to seven days before resuming usage. If you take the pill for at least seven consecutive days after the break, you will still be protected from pregnancy. 

“Some people only get very light or no periods with the combined pill even if they’re not deliberately skipping periods. Provided that pregnancy has been excluded, this is not dangerous or permanent. It can sometimes take a few months, but periods will return to what’s normal for that person when they stop taking the pill,” Dr Wallace-Hor says.

Are there any other benefits?

Continued usage of the hormonal birth control pill allows you to skip your periods safely while reducing PMS symptoms like tiredness, bloating, headaches, and general pain compared with the standard 21-day use. 

“For personal or cultural reasons, some people prefer to have “periods” with the pill and that’s fine. However, it’s worth knowing that it is a safe thing to do and has many benefits. If you have difficulties skipping periods with your current pill (for example, if you get bothersome spotting as a result), it’s worth having a chat with your GP as a different pill brand may work better for you.”

Source link