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Nice recommends skin cancer drug

23 September 2014 09:30

Nice says the skin cancer drug should be made more widely available to some patients on the NHS

Nice says the skin cancer drug should be made more widely available to some patients on the NHS

Latest guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommends that a new skin cancer drug should be made more widely available on the NHS.

Dabrafenib targets a certain strain of skin cancer related to a specific type of mutation. It kills the mutated cells, stopping or slowing down the cancer's growth as a result.

Nice's final draft guidance recommends that patients should be able to access the drug if surgery failed to completely remove the cancer or it has spread and if tests show that they have the mutation.

The organisation highlights the drug's fast-acting effect on many patients who have the specific type of melanoma. It also points to a lack of available treatments for skin cancer which has spread.

The guidance says Dabrafenib, which is also known as Tafinlar, has the potential to substantially improve the outlook for people with malignant melanoma.

Guide to travelling if you have had cancer

Cancer should not be a barrier to travelling or enjoying a holiday. A break could even be the perfect tonic for those hoping to recover from treatment and re-adjust to normal life.

Travel insurance for cancer patients is available for people at all different stages of their treatment.

But Cancer Research UK has put together a list of factors worth considering that could help you plan your holiday with your condition in mind:

when will you book your holiday for? Going away immediately after a course of treatment could leave you feeling too tired to enjoy your break. where will you go? Radiotherapy or some cancer drugs can make you more sensitive to the sun. So two weeks of lying by the pool in baking heat may not be the wisest idea. what will you do? Your condition could leave you feeling sick or could bring on a bout of diarrhoea. Try to avoid activities that could aggravate such symptoms. what clothes will you pack? If you've had surgery, you may have to cope with some physical changes following your operation.