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Call for Waikato women to join breast cancer study

Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group

Women in the Waikato and surrounding areas with a family history of breast cancer are needed to join a vital breast cancer prevention study before it closes at the end of the year.

Waikato Hospital, Hamilton is one of more than 30 hospitals across Australia and New Zealand taking part in the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS-II), and one of hundreds of institutions worldwide participating in research that aims to find out whether a drug widely used to treat breast cancer, anastrozole, can also be used to prevent breast cancer.

Pirongia resident Lorrie Kurth joined the IBIS-II study in the hope that she could be part of the fight against breast cancer.

“I feel it is a very worthwhile study especially as it is involving women with a strong family history of breast cancer. I realise it may or may not make a difference to my future health but I am confident it will make a difference to future generations,” she said.
“The trial staff have been very friendly and supportive. Knowing that I am getting excellent surveillance throughout the trial, particularly with my family history, is a comforting thought.”
Previous research using anastrozole as a treatment for early breast cancer suggests that it could prevent up to 70 percent of new tumours occurring in women at increased risk, or 300,000 breast cancers per year, worldwide.

The study is seeking 8000 women globally. Worldwide, more than 6200 women have already joined IBIS-II, including more than 860 from Australia and New Zealand, but more volunteers are still needed before entry to the study closes in December 2011.

To join the study women must be:
postmenopausal,
• aged between 40 and 70,
• and have a family history of breast cancer

Women joining the study take a tablet a day for five years and receive a bone health check and regular mammograms. They have clinical check-ups twice a year in the first year and once a year in the following four years

The study is coordinated in Australia and New Zealand by the Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group and is coordinated internationally by Cancer Research UK.

For more information about joining the IBIS-II study Freecall 0800 888 656 or register your interest online at www.anzbctg.org.

ENDS

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