Courtesy of Skills for Health
Following joint working with the National Cancer Action Team (England) and input from UK practitioners, the revised National Occupational Standards (NOS) for chemotherapy and chemotherapy-related pharmacy have been approved by UKCES and the UK NOS Panel. The new standards will shape the development of new transferable roles for chemotherapy practitioners. For guidance on how NOS can be used to enhance service provision, please visit the Skills for Health website.
Extract from NHS Evidence: Sept 2011
Overview: Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women in Englandand Wales, with about 40,500 new cases diagnosed and 10,900 deaths recorded in Englandand Wales each year. In men breast cancer is rare, with about 260 cases diagnosed and 68 deaths in England and Wales each year.
Of these new cases in women and men, a small proportion are diagnosed in the advanced stages, when the tumour has spread significantly within the breast or to other organs of the body. In addition, there are a significant number of women who have been previously treated with curative intent who subsequently develop either a local recurrence or metastases.
Current treatment: There is currently no cure for advanced breast cancer. However, treatment can slow tumour growth, relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
NICE recommends endocrine therapy as first line treatment for the majority of patients with oestrogen receptor-positive advanced breast cancer. Chemotherapy is an option for patients who are not responding to hormone therapy or whose breast cancer is hormone receptor negative.
The NICE Pathway: breast cancer, brings together all related NICE guidance and associated products on the condition in a set of interactive topic-based diagrams.
New evidence: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (Gennari et al: Clin Oncol. 2011 Jun 1;29(16):2144-9) evaluated the effect of different first-line chemotherapy durations in patients with advanced breast cancer on overall survival and progression free survival.
The results of trials including 2,269 patients found that longer first-line chemotherapy duration significantly improved both overall and progression free survival.