Jade Goody attending Cancer Research UK's Pink Ice Ball in 2007
This week has seen intense media coverage of Jade Goody’s struggle with cervical cancer. Jade, who sadly was diagnosed with the disease in August 2008, has been told this week that her cervical cancer has spread.
The publicity around Jade’s diagnosis has led many more people to ask questions and seek information about cervical cancer – we’ve seen a dramatic leap in the number of people visiting the cervical cancer pages of our patient information website, CancerHelp UK.
Before Jade was diagnosed, the total number of pages viewed daily in our cervical cancer section was around 2,000 to 3,000. On the day of the news last year this jumped to over 32,000.
Since then the daily visits have continued to be around two to three times higher than before her diagnosis was made public.
Our Information Nurses phone line has also had an increase in callers asking for information about cervical cancer.
And in response to Jade being back in the news this week, we’ve seen the number of cervical cancer pages viewed increase to around 20,000.
NICE are deciding whether to fund four new drugs for advanced kidney cancer
35 experts, 7 administrators, 15 public observers… one very important decision. Last week, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) held a meeting in Manchester to finally decide whether or not to recommend four drugs for advanced kidney cancer on the NHS.
Regular readers of this blog will know that the original decision not to recommend these treatments back in August 2008 was met with outcry from kidney cancer patients and their doctors alike.
Cancer Research UK was also dismayed by this draft guidance – and through this blog we sought the views of the public to help shape how we would respond to NICE. Our response spelt out why we felt this decision was unfair – and we appealed to NICE to reconsider.
In keeping with NICE’s processes, a second appraisal meeting took place last September- where the responses from the manufacturers of the four drugs, and from other stakeholders – including Cancer Research UK – were discussed.
The final meeting was scheduled to take place in November 2008 – but due to some last minute clinical evidence submitted by the manufacturers of two of the drugs – Pfizer, who make sunitinib (Sutent) and Bayer, makers of sorafenib (Nexavar) – the meeting was postponed until January 2009.
Although Cancer Research UK was frustrated by this delay, we appreciated that NICE needed the extra time to assess this new evidence.