Can­cer drug list­ing boosts baby hopes

Sunday Tasmanian - - News -

MORE women un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy have been given a bet­ter chance of hav­ing a baby post-treat­ment, with the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment ex­pand­ing the list­ing of an ef­fec­tive fer­til­ity preser­va­tion med­i­ca­tion on the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Ben­e­fits Scheme.

Gosere­lin, sold as Zo­ladex, is listed on the PBS for hor­mone re­cep­tor pos­i­tive breast can­cer. But young women with hor­mone re­cep­tor neg­a­tive breast can­cer who want ac­cess to gosere­lin have had to pay $330 a month. They now have ac­cess to the treat­ment at a cost of $38 a month.

The ex­panded list­ing on the PBS will not only ben­e­fit breast can­cer pa­tients but women un­der­go­ing alky­lat­ing chemo­ther­apy for a range of dis­eases, such as sar­coma, lu­pus and rheuma­to­log­i­cal dis­eases.

One of the side ef­fects of chemo­ther­apy is in­fer­til­ity be­cause of dam­age to a woman’s eggs. An Aus­tralian-led trial of more than 250 women world­wide con­ducted by Breast Can­cer Tri­als showed pre­menopausal women who re­ceived monthly in­jec­tions of gosere­lin were more likely to be­come preg­nant after their breast can­cer treat­ment.

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