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MORE WOMEN ARE GETTING BREAST CANCER; But new breakthrough drug will slow progression of killer disease.

Byline: By MICHELLE O'KEEFFE

MORE women than ever are getting breast cancer, medical experts revealed yesterday.

The amount of people with the disease has went up by two per cent each year - with 2,379 people, including 27 men, getting breast cancer in 2005.

But breakthrough treatment is giving fresh hope to sufferers.

The new life-saving drug Lapatinib was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in March for patients in the advanced stages.

The research was announced ahead of tomorrow's Action Breast Cancer's Pink vital funds.

The charity's manager Naomi Fitzgibbon said: "Anything that cuts the risk of recurrence with early breast cancer, and slows down the progression of disease in women with more advanced breast cancer, is wonderful news.

"We look forward to similar advances. Continuing research into identifying the cellular mechanisms of cancer - in order to unravel the mystery of why some cells behave normally and some become cancerous - is also hugely important."

Lapatinib is among a new group of drugs called "targeted therapies" designed to target specific characteristics of cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells.

Thirteen Irish women took part in a worldwide clinical trial of the drug and the results were so positive it was recommended by US medical experts.

Lapatinib was shown to slow the progression of advanced cancer by 50 per cent, and is expected to be licensed in Ireland later this year.

Herceptin also works to slow down breast cancer and had a 46 per cent reduction in clinical trials.

Action Breast Cancer ribbons are on sale now at EUR2.

IT'S A FACT

20 per cent of all female cancers are breast cancer

Risk increases with age

Irish women have one in 11 chance of developing disease in lifetime

news@irishmirror.ie

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IN THE PINK: Model Corina Grant launches tomorrow's Pink Ribbon Day Picture: COLLINS
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 28, 2007
Words:307
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