Cancer: New drug that can ‘double’ life expectancy approved on the NHS

The new drug, durvalumab, enables patients to survive “twice as long with the disease,” the NHS said. The NHS announced earlier this week that the drug could “double the total time someone can survive with an aggressive form of lung cancer from two and a half to five years.” According to Cancer Research UK, only 10 percent of patients survive lung cancer for more than a decade after diagnosis. But while one of the deadliest, lung cancer is one of the most preventable.

Nevertheless, the news of the approval of durvalumab on the NHS means that thousands of patients with the condition can be granted extra time with their loved ones.

In a statement, the NHS said: “The new treatment will be offered to more than 550 patients per year with advanced non-small cell lung cancer who have already undergone both chemotherapy and radiation therapy at present.

“The drug is given to patients every four weeks and only takes one hour to administer.”

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common form of lung cancer.

National Cancer Director for NHS England, Dame Cally Palmer, commented on the news: “We are determined in our ambition to combat the devastating effects of cancer and new groundbreaking treatments that durvalumab is an important lifeline for people living with cancer.

“Most of us know someone who has been diagnosed with cancer and it can affect people in all walks of life.

“The NHS has continued to prioritize cancer care throughout the pandemic and I urge anyone with concerns about symptoms they may experience to appear without delay and be screened.”

In her statement, Dame Palmer highlights how the NHS, despite the importance of Covid, has done what it can to continue cancer treatment for the thousands of people affected by the disease.

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In response to the news, Health Minister Sajid Javid wrote: “This is yet another example of how the NHS paves the way for innovative treatments to provide cancer patients with the best possible care and more time with loved ones.

“We continue to improve the results for cancer patients across the UK and our next 10-year cancer plan will describe how we will put Europe in cancer care.”

Earlier this year, Javid announced a 10-year war on cancer.

As part of this war, the government will invest in new treatments and diagnostic tools so that more cancers can be treated with greater effectiveness.

At the same time, lung cancer remains a harmful enemy.

Symptoms of the condition, says the NHS, are:
• A cough that does not go away after two or three weeks
• A prolonged cough that worsens
• Chest infections that keep coming back
• Coughing up blood
• Aches or pains when breathing or coughing
• Persistent shortness of breath
Persistent fatigue or lack of energy
• Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

The NHS says a person should see their doctor if they have any of these symptoms.

Lung cancer, like other cancers, can have a number of causes.

When it comes to lung cancer, the main cause is smoking with the lifestyle habit that accounts for more than 70 percent of cases.

Smoking is a risk factor for several cancers and lung cancer.

However, since smoking is very difficult to quit, there are many resources for those who want to kick the nicotine stroke.

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