Anastrozole: Thousands women at risk of breast cancer to be offered preventative drug

Anastrozole: Thousands women at risk of breast cancer to be offered preventative drug

This lists the known side effects and what to do if you get them. The press release from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is available on the Government website. The Medicines Repurposing Programme will work with the MHRA and the British Generic Manufacturers Association to establish that other companies which supply the treatment adopt its new licensed indication. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in England, with around 47,000 new cases every year.

Almost 300,000 women will be offered a drug to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer, NHS officials have announced. The research, carried out by Professor Jack Cuzick, is a follow-up study from the initial report published in 2013 on the effects of anastrozole. The first study found from a trial of 4,000 women that anastrozole reduced the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women by half.

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Breast cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK,with around 11,500 deaths from breast cancer in the UK every year. The programme, hosted by NHS England, builds on work done during the pandemic, which saw arthritis drugs and common steroids repurposed as treatments for Covid. In a fertility study weanling male rats were dosed orally with 50 or 400 mg/l anastrozole via their drinking water for 10 weeks.

  • In postmenopausal women the aromatase enzyme converts the sex hormones androstenedione (produced by the ovaries), and testosterone, into oestrogen.
  • It’s estimated that 300,000 women could be eligible for the preventative treatment.
  • In this case your specialist will tell you how long to take the medicine for.

This is a basic screening tool, quick and easy to use (the specialist clinic does a more detailed assessment) and one that we should re-familiarise ourselves with when patients are asking if they should be offered this drug. Anastrozole is an effective way of preventing breast cancer from occurring in thousands of post-menopausal women who have a higher risk of developing breast cancer, for example because they have a strong family history of the disease. This includes those with a significant family history of the disease. It’s estimated that 300,000 women could be eligible for the preventative treatment. Arimidex should not be used in boys with growth hormone deficiency in addition to growth hormone treatment. In the pivotal clinical trial, efficacy was not demonstrated and safety was not established (see section 5.1).

What is anastrozole and am I eligible for the breast cancer drug? All your questions answered

Anastrozole may affect your blood pressure, cholesterol and bone density. Your doctor will monitor this carefully and can recommend additional treatment if needed. Like all medicines, anastrozole can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.

Make sure to keep your doctor up to date about how your joint pain is changing. This means that if the pain does become very severe, they will have time to consider which other AI to provide you with and create a new treatment plan for you. It also means that there will be less time in between medications, resulting in a shorter interruption period and a continued low chance of cancer recurrence. It can even be a good idea to start these kinds of exercises prior to experiencing joint pain or even prior to taking the medication. That way, the protection that it can offer will already be in place before any symptoms begin to show.

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Hormone receptor positive means that the cancer cells grow in response to the hormones oestrogen and/or progesterone (for more information about this, check out our Pathology blog). Aromatase inhibitors are usually given as an adjuvant therapy (after surgery) to postmenopausal women to help reduce the risk of breast cancer returning. This medication comes in pill form and is usually taken once a day for a period of around 5 to 10 years. The selective aromatase inhibitor Prime Pharmaceuticals steroids is used as adjuvant treatment in early and advanced estrogen receptor positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Hepatotoxicity secondary to anastrozole is uncommon but usually reversible.

Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

Anastrozole prevents this from happening by blocking the enzyme, called aromatase. It’s the first medicine the MHRA has relicensed as part of NHS England’s Medicines Repurposing Programme. It does this by blocking a substance in the body called aromatase.

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“We’ve already seen the positive effect anastrozole can have in treating the disease when it has been detected in post-menopausal women and now we can use it to stop it developing at all in some women,” he added. Health Minister Will Quince said he was “delighted” the drug had now been approved to “help prevent this cruel disease”. Women with BRCA mutations are also more likely to develop breast cancer at a younger age. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in England, with more than 47,000 people diagnosed each year.

In our most recent blog, our Honorary President and Founder, Lester Barr MBE, summarised recent breast cancer research carried out by our scientific experts regarding ways of improving the NHS Breast Screening Programme. To help us improve GOV.UK, we’d like to know more about your visit today. Don’t worry we won’t send you spam or share your email address with anyone.

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