Perjeta: Drug to help incurable breast cancer patients ready (SkyNews)

Perjeta: Drug to help incurable breast cancer patients ready (SkyNews)

A drug, which means incurable breast cancer patients can live a normal life will now be used across the NHS in England.

Perjeta has been approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for routine use after five years of assessment.

Previously, it had only been available through the Cancer Drugs Fund since 2013, meaning many sufferers were not even given the option.

Used in combination with trastuzumab and a chemotherapy drug called docetaxel, Perjeta – or Pertuzumab – can give men and women with secondary breast cancer a relatively normal life.

Last year Scotland refused to make Perjeta available on the NHS as it could not justify the “cost in relation to its health benefits”.

Sarah Hepworth lives a relatively normal life thanks to Perjeta. Photo: Sarah Hepworth/Sky News

Sarah Hepworth was diagnosed with primary and secondary breast cancer which spread to her bones.

The 42-year-old from Oxford was put on Perjeta in December 2015 thanks to the Cancer Drugs Fund, but was always concerned if she had to come off it due to illness she would not be allowed it again.

She told Sky News: “I’m so happy Perjeta is now available on the NHS, the worry of being taken off it has vanished and now thousands of others with secondary breast cancer can use it.

“I was initially on chemotherapy which was horrific, I had terrible side effects and I wasn’t living, just surviving.

“When I was put on Perjeta, with two other drugs, it gave me a new lease of life and I really don’t have the side effects.

“I now live a normal life, a new normal where I live by my last scan, but normal nonetheless.

“I can work, I’m back at my previous job as a solutions manager for Royal Mail, and people on the street wouldn’t even know I have cancer. Read more

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