Swansea health economists contribute to breast cancer treatment guidelines

Swansea University health economists have undertaken research which has contributed to updated national clinical guidelines from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) on familial breast cancer in women.

The guidance issued by NICE this week recommends the NHS should give tamoxifen or raloxifene to particular groups of women with a family history of cancer because the drugs can help stop them getting breast cancer if they are taken for five years. 

NICE says that hundreds of thousands of women across England and Wales could be spared the distress and uncertainty of a breast cancer diagnosis by taking a daily pill to help prevent the disease.

The Swansea Centre for Health Economics team at the College of Human and Health Sciences that contributed to the guidelines are Dr Deb Fitzsimmons, Professor Ceri Phillips, Dr Berni Sewell and Ms Hayley Bennett.

Dr Deb Fitzsimmons said: “Swansea Centre for Health Economics is delighted to have contributed to these important and valuable guidelines. Working in partnership with our colleagues at NICE, NCC-C and with the Guideline Development Group, we have delivered research based solutions through our review and analysis of the health economic evidence to give guidance to the NHS on the most cost-effective options for the management and care of people with a familial risk of breast cancer.'

The updated guideline on familial breast cancer is now available from the NICE website. While not mandatory, NICE clinical guidelines are regarded as best practice and the NHS is encouraged to follow the recommendations as set out in the guidance.