A treatment that can help improve the survival rates of breast cancer patients is being successfully delivered in West Lancashire.
Pauline Elstone, from Skelmersdale, is the first patient to complete the full course of bisphosphonate treatment while under the care of the adult community services team, working in partnership with NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group.
Pauline said: “I was delighted when the CCG in West Lancashire agreed to fund this treatment for patients in our borough as it was not previously offered locally. I have had lots of different nurses over the past few years and the team in West Lancashire are absolutely fabulous. They are caring, treat me like an individual, and I feel like I can go to them with any worries. I would never have been able to complete my bisphosphonate treatment if it hadn’t been for this service – I really can’t fault it.”
Bisphosphonates help to slow down or prevent bone damage, which can be caused by chemotherapy. Research has shown the treatment may reduce the risk of breast cancer spreading to the bones and elsewhere in the body in post-menopausal women being treated for primary breast cancer. Patients receiving bisphosphonate treatment receive six infusions at around six-monthly intervals.
Michelle Lee, Managing Director in Lancashire, said: “We were asked by the CCG to begin delivering bisphosphonate infusions back in 2019 and are just starting to see the first cohort of patients coming to the end of their treatment. The infusions can bring real benefits to breast cancer patients and I’m really pleased that we are helping to make such a difference to the lives of people in the West Lancashire area.”
Julie Silcock, IV Lead Nurse in West Lancashire, said: “It is a real privilege to be able to offer this treatment to breast cancer patients. We have received nothing but positive feedback from the women that have come to us so far, which makes me feel very proud of the team and proud that we are able to support these patients.”
Dr Jack Kinsey, a local GP and clinical cancer lead at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “It is great to hear stories like Pauline’s, as it highlights the positive outcomes that have emerged as a result of the work done in rolling out bisphosphonate treatments in West Lancashire. Being able to deliver this treatment locally is hugely beneficial to breast cancer patients and we hope to hear more positive outcomes over the coming months and years.”
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