07 July 2017
Luton and Dunstable University Hospital is taking part in a clinical trial – funded by leading charity Breast Cancer Now – to investigate the best way to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to reduce the impact of two major side-effects for women undergoing breast cancer treatment.
Hot flushes and night sweats are common side-effects of current breast cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and anti-hormone drugs. Experienced by up to 70% of women receiving treatment, they can have a huge impact on their daily lives, often affecting employment, personal relationships and general quality of life, and sometimes leading to women not completing the full course of their treatment.
Researchers have already shown that CBT – a type of ‘talking therapy’ – can help to reduce the impact that hot flushes and night sweats have, allowing women to regain a sense of control over these symptoms. Although CBT is known to be effective, it is not currently offered routinely within the NHS for women with breast cancer.
TheL&D is one of six UK hospitals participating in the trial – which will involve up to 160 women. Half of the women will receive group CBT from a breast cancer nurse, involving six weekly sessions lasting 90 minutes each, while the other half will receive whatever support they would normally receive.
Breast Cancer Now has donated £300,000 to fund the study.