Monday, September 4, 2017

Breast Cancer Treatment Benefits

Recently it was announced in a draft proposal that the UK's NHS would not cover faslodex to treat estrogen positive metastatic breast cancer. While this may be disappointing to some, at this point I agree with the decision.

The reason given for the decision is:

"While NICE [National Institute for Health and Care] Excellence acknowledged that it can stall tumour growth by up to three months compared to aromatase inhibitors, it said early evidence isn’t strong enough to show that the drug extends survival."

What is the point of spending millions of dollars on patient medication if it does not extend survival? This is a real problem with many new medications where they are shown to treat an ailment but the question often comes down to the length of extended survival. 

If you had metastasized cancer how much money would you pay and side effects would you endure to simply live a few weeks longer? I think we all want to life as long as possible but the costs to be endured can be too high. If you get side effects such as diarrhea where you are forced liquids and electrolytes to keep you alive, is that worth it? Bed ridden in extreme pain? Just because this stupid pill is slowing your tumor growth - and might be keeping you alive longer.

Again, we get to the discussion of quality of life. In my opinion that is one of the most important pieces of medical care. If you are suffering, do you want to be alive? Not me. If you are given so many pain medications that you don't know which way is up because of the other medications you are on, is there quality of life?

I'll be making my own decisions focusing on my quality life thanks.

So I am backing NICE here in this decision to hold off on approval of Faslodex, this fancy new drug that may or may not prolong life.

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