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Nadia Sawalha joins women going topless for breast cancer drug campaign

The Loose Women star said the campaigners ‘have been ignored for too long’.

Nadia Sawalha and artist Sophie Tea outside in Westminster

Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha has stripped off for a campaign demanding a breast cancer drug be made available on the NHS in England and Wales.

On Wednesday, a group of 31 women with painted chests, all of whom have been touched by breast cancer, appeared outside Westminster in a bid to be heard by the new Labour Government over the use of Enhertu for women with a subtype of incurable breast cancer called HER2-low.

The drug, which is available in Scotland, is a treatment for several types of cancer and is already available on the NHS for certain patients with HER2-positive secondary breast cancer.

A group of women with painted breasts outside the Palace of Westminster holding signs reading hashtag Enhertu
Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha joins campaigners in Westminster, central London, who have painted their breasts with messages calling for the breast cancer drug Enhertu to be made available on the NHS in England and Wales (Lucy North/PA)

Sawalha, 59, said: “We are here to be heard. If this is what it takes to turn heads back in our direction and put Enhertu back on the agenda, so be it. We have been ignored for too long”.

In May, the All-Party Parliamentary Group On Breast Cancer (APPGBC) held a roundtable event focusing on Enhertu but campaigners say they have been “ignored” since then.

Hannah Gardner, who has incurable breast cancer, said: “We feel ignored. It’s been over two months since patients met with Nice (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), NHS England, Daiichi Sankyo and AstraZeneca at an APPG in Parliament and were promised the key players would get back around the table to thrash out a deal.

“But it hasn’t come. Nothing has changed and the treatment remains out of reach for the 1,000 women a year it’s thought it would benefit.”

According to the charity Breast Cancer Now, trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu) is already recommended for use within the Cancer Drugs Fund for certain patients with HER2-positive secondary breast cancer, but it is now the first treatment licensed for HER2-low secondary breast cancer.

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