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New life-changing NHS breast cancer jab

Posted on April 2021 By Jamie Southwell

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​Bringing the time period for patients staying in hospitals down from two and a half hours to five minutes, the new NHS breast cancer treatment is a "life-changer" says one of the first women to receive it.

The breast cancer jab called Phesgo will reduce the time it takes for NHS healthcare staff to administer it in patients to just five minutes. Currently being rolled out across England by the NHS to those undergoing chemotherapy for HER2-positive breast cancer. Targeting 15% of all breast cancers.

HER2 is the growth of protein outside of all breast cells, when found in women with cancer it causes an acceleration of growth and faster spread than other breast cancers. Treatment on those diagnosed HER2-positive is more likely and effective to respond to the drugs targeting the protein.

NHS England explained the injection will benefit over 3,600 patients in hospitals annually. Effectively cutting the time period those with the cancer have to stay in hospital and lowering the risk of spreading Covid-19 for both healthcare professionals and patients.

With a total of 2,386,815 cancer patients seen by NHS healthcare workers between 2018 to 2019, breast cancer patients made up 435,253 of those and just over 12% were not able to be seen within 14 days of the initial GP referral due to wait times.

​Cheif Executive of Breast Cancer Now, Baroness Delyth Morgan, pictured above

The Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now, Baroness Delyth Morgan said the approval for the NHS treatment is "fantastic news". She adds the injection will benefit thousands of women across the country with a "quicker and kinder" solution.

"Reducing the time patients need to spend in hospital, this more efficient treatment method also promises to free up precious time for healthcare professionals when the NHS is already under unprecedented strain due to Covid-19".

Phesgo is a combination of two different drugs called Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab, in a fixed dosage working together with chemotherapy. Previously the administrations of the drugs separately would have taken NHS healthcare staff up to two and a half hours.

The UK based charity, Breast Cancer Now, estimates close to 11,000 people are living with undiagnosed breast cancer throughout the country right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paula Lamb, breast cancer patient being administered by an NHS worker, pictured above

Paula Lamb, from Newton-le-Willows in St Helens, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 and has been one of the first women in the country to receive the treatment from the NHS.

She described it by saying "It feels absolutely amazing... and it really could not have come at a better time as lockdown lifts and I can stop shielding.

"I'm currently on a combination of medications which take about an hour-and-a-half to two hours to administer all together, and I have to go into hospital to have them every three weeks.

"Having a five-minute treatment means I'll have more time to get out on walks, for my gardening, knitting and to help my daughter practise her cricket skills.

"It's a real life-changer."