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NHS Strikes Deal On New Breast Cancer Drug

There has been some excellent news for women up and down the country suffering from breast cancer this month, with the NHS announcing that it will now make an innovative breast cancer drug available to patients.

Kadcyla was previously rejected for use on the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on cost grounds, much to campaigners’ dismay.

However, the NHS has revealed that it has struck a deal with manufacturer Roche to lower the cost of providing the drug. At its full list price, it would have cost the NHS around £90,000 per patient.

The new price has not been disclosed, but Kadcyla will now be routinely available on the NHS. It is licensed for use in those with HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and is not responding to other treatment.

Taking Kadcyla can extend patients’ lives by around six months, as well as improving their quality of life during that time.

Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, described the decision as “exceptionally good news”.

She added that she was “absolutely delighted” that the NHS and NICE had shown flexibility, and that Roche had agreed to compromise on price, noting that this means “thousands of women with incurable breast cancer will be given precious time to live”.

This isn’t the only recent example where a drug company has made a compromise to help patients. Last month, Pfizer announced it would provide Ibrance (palbociclib) for free for five months while NICE deliberates over its funding for use on the NHS.

If you need mastectomy swimwear, take a look at the selection offered by Brave Ladies.

 

New Breast Cancer Chemo Drug ‘Offers Better Quality Of Life’

New chemotherapy drug capecitabine has been proven to offer breast cancer patients a better quality of life, the results of a new trial by Cancer Research UK has indicated.

It was also found to be as effective at preventing a return of the disease as alternative course of treatment CMF, when administered after other drug epriubicin.

Patients were found to have fewer side effects, while those taking CMF were more likely to experience severe effects like thrombosis, infection, anaemia, nausea and early menopause.

“Using patient-reported data was extremely valuable because we could learn what patients find tolerable and where they struggle to cope during treatment. This new approach to chemotherapy may benefit a range of breast cancer patients, including younger women who want to preserve their fertility,” clinical director of the Cancer Research UK Edinburgh Centre professor David Cameron said.

During the trial, patients were followed up yearly for at least ten years to see if the cancer returned, with over 85 per cent of patients not seeing the disease come back for at least five years.

According to the organisation, breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK (apart from non-melanoma skin cancer) and is by far the most common form of cancer to be found in women. Some one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime here in the UK, with risk factors including getting older, drinking alcohol, being overweight or obese and family history.

Having a sister, mother or daughter diagnosed with the disease approximately doubles the risk of breast cancer.

Do you need a breast cancer swimsuit? Check out the Brave Ladies website today.

Olivia Newton-John Confirms Breast Cancer Has Returned

Sad news to report this week – everyone’s favourite Grease star Olivia Newton-John has just confirmed that her breast cancer has returned and has now spread to her back.

The 68-year-old singer/actress first underwent treatment for the disease back in 1992, aged just 43. At the time, she had a partial mastectomy and breast reconstruction following chemotherapy, the Daily Telegraph reports.

A post on her Facebook page read: “The back pain that initially caused her to postpone the first half of her concert tour has turned out to be breast cancer that has metastasized to the sacrum. In addition to natural wellness therapies, Olivia will complete a short course of photon radiation therapy and is confident she will be back later in the year, better than ever, to celebrate her shows.”

Since she was first diagnosed, Newton-John has been a campaigner for breast cancer research and opened the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne back in 2008.

If you too have just been diagnosed with breast cancer, it can be really difficult to tell your family and friends but the more openly you talk about it the easier others will find it to help you and respond to your needs.

Some people in your life might find it hard to deal with your diagnosis and may try and avoid talking to you, which can be hurtful. Others may also be insensitive or say something inappropriate if they feel awkward, but remember that talking about your diagnosis is an important step towards processing what is happening to you so you can think beyond the disease and how you can move forward afterwards.

For mastectomy clothing and more, check out our website today.

Breast Cancer Drug Offered For Free While NHS Deliberates Over Costs

Thousands of breast cancer patients in the UK look set to benefit from the free supply of Ibrance (palbociclib) by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which has pledged to provide the medication for up to five months for eligible women until the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) decides whether it will pay for it to be used across the NHS.

According to the Daily Telegraph, approximately 2,400 women could benefit from this particular drug, which can prolong life by an average of ten months. And Pfizer has said it will carry on supplying the drug for free even if the NICE does decide against funding it.

Ibrance itself is for those with hormone positive HER2 negative breast cancer that has not previously been treated and which has spread around the body.

Director of policy and engagement at Breast Cancer Now Fiona Hazell was quoted by the news source as saying: “This is an unexpected lifeline for thousands of women living with this type of breast cancer. We are delighted that Pfizer have listened to our campaigners and have found a way to enable patients to access this first-in-class drug in the short term.

“While only an interim measure, more than 16 women every day could have their lives changed by this drug during this window.”

It’s important to note the side-effects of any medication, however, and Ibrance may cause low white blood cell counts that could result in serious infections. Doctors should always check white blood cell counts before and during treatment.

Looking for new mastectomy clothing? Check out the Brave Ladies website today.

Teen Designs New Bra That Detects Breast Cancer

An 18-year-old from Mexico has designed a new bra that he says will serve as an early warning system for symptoms of breast cancer, inspired by his mother who almost died when he was 13 because her breast cancer wasn’t detected early enough.

According to the BBC, Julian Rios Cantu and three of his friends – who have formed Higia Technologies – won the top prize at the recent Global Student Entrepreneur Awards for the Eva bra. The trio won £15,500 as part of the competition to develop the idea further.

Speaking to the news source, Cancer Research UK’s Anna Perman said: “It’s great to see young people like Julian getting into science and having ideas that could help with cancer diagnosis. But an important part of science is rigorous testing, to make sure innovations like this actually benefit patients.”

Apparently, biosensors in the bra measure temperature changes in the skin as a result of cancerous tumours, with the results logged in an app and alerts sent out if any disturbing changes are detected. Women would need to wear the bra for between 60 and 90 minutes a week in order for accurate measurements to be achieved.

If breast cancer does run in your family, it could be worth investing in one of the Eva bras if and when they come to market. Until then, you can do your bit to protect your health and lower your risk of developing the disease by limiting your intake of alcohol, quitting smoking, controlling your weight and being more physically active, and avoiding exposure to environmental pollution and radiation.

Check out the Brave Ladies website for mastectomy swimwear and more.

Happy New Year from Brave Ladies

Happy New Year everyone!!! What a crazy start to a new year – welcome to 2017. Here, at Brave Ladies, we have been busy tweaking our designs for our new collection that will be here for you all to see on our website http://www.braveladies.co.uk Exciting bright new colours and designs in this years range moving with 2017 trends http://www.popsugar.com.au/fashion/Biggest-Swimwear-Trends-2016-2017-42672192#photo-42672262

Whilst we welcome the New Year in, and embrace the positivity of what that brings, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the year gone by and some of those who we lost in 2016. Some of whom may have had an impact on our lives in some way. For me, George Michael and Ronnie Corbett will be enormously missed but they are just the tip of the iceberg of celebrity deaths in 2016

http://news.sky.com/story/celebrities-who-died-in-2016-bowie-prince-among-long-list-of-losses-10652866

Caroline Aherne, David Bowie, Paul Daniels, Denise Robertson, Victoria Wood, Alan Rickman and Sir Terry Wogan are some of the celebrities that died from cancer last year. The dreaded “C” word seemed to constantly be in the headlines associated with yet another celebrity death. Breast cancer didn’t hit the headlines in these cases but I constantly check on changes in statistics and, although breast cancer wasn’t mentioned, the stats can be overwhelming http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/breast-cancer#heading-Zero

Here at Brave Ladies we are only too aware that there is no back seat in the fight on breast cancer. Every day is a fight for so many of you brave women, and indeed men, out there and we can only hope that we can help boost your confidence when you need it. We listen to many of you brave ladies on the phone, via e-mail and in person,  We are always happy to receive feedback and we value the opinions of you, our customers, and we are always happy to help. Here’s to a Happy New Year with Brave Ladies.

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Keeping a – breast of things.

Everyone needs support in life. When you’re ill you need more support. When you’re seriously ill, you need all the support you can get. All cancer sufferers need support from friends and family but sometimes it’s people outside of your safe zone that can help you the most and that is part of what Brave Ladies want to do with our mastectomy swimwear range.

Brave Ladies 2016 range

So when Brave Ladies were invited, for a second time, to our local Breast Cancer support group in Purley we didn’t hesitate in being involved.

We attended the Breast Cancer support group last year with our first mastectomy swimwear range and had a great reception from all of the brave ladies there. Sadly, but inevitably, there were new faces in the group this year for us to show our 2016 Brave Ladies collection to – but what an amazing group of women.

Once again I am left astounded by the trials these brave ladies have been through – are going through – and how open and positive they are. Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand that there is no quick fix for breast cancer. I understand that it leaves physical scars. I understand it leaves emotional scars. I understand that the fear of never being “normal” again is horrendous to live with.

BUT… when a room full of women share their experience, knowledge and can laugh with two, virtual, strangers, I feel that a sense of healing is apparent.

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Healing can come in different ways for different people. You have to find what is best for you. What is best to heal your body? What is best to heal your mind? Mine is easy! Mine is laughter.

So – having shown the ladies our new mastectomy swimwear range and explained the functionality, the sizing, the prosthesis and the practicalities – all of these women realised that the vibrant, colourful swimwear in front of them would be something they could use to start their healing. All of these brave ladies around me started to relax and we started to have a few giggles – to say it how it is. In some ways laughing at what life has dealt us is the only way forward. Cancer is pants!!! There is no doubt about that. But these girls have found a small light at the end of their tunnel and are looking for the way forward. Brave Ladies want to be part of their way forward – full speed ahead I say!

 

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Life’s a Beach With Cancer

Brave Ladies shot our 2016 mastectomy swimwear collection on a beautiful, sandy beach in West Wittering at the weekend.

http://www.westwitteringbeach.co.uk

To say it was fresh is an understatement and I went from Irish Rose (white) to something resembling a bluebell in colour. In-between shots we had snuggly warm dressing gowns but it was mighty chilly in our swimwear.

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Teresa and Aoife, Founder and Co- Founder of Brave Ladies

So many people on West wittering beach were curious as to what we were doing. It soon became apparent. One passer by, in her wellies and thermals, commented that we “are very brave ladies” and I replied “that’s exactly what we are! That’s what this range is called”, which made us all laugh.

That one comment made me think:

  • Yes we were braving the cold
  • Yes we were all body conscious
  • Yes we were on a beach in April
  • Yes people were staring at us

But:

  • We started this collection for all the brave ladies out there
  • We know we can make a difference to womens’ lives
  • We know we can help families through our mastectomy swimwear
  • There are so many ladies who have braved more than the elements
Brave Ladies models and photographer

Brave Ladies models and photographer Andrew Franklin

 

Brave Ladies is primarily a mastectomy swimwear company but we feel it can benefit all women. Those who have had breast cancer and those who haven’t. Through our products we believe that more women can find their confidence again. Confidence in themselves. Confidence in their bodies. Confidence in life. We all have to start somewhere, so why not start on the beach and be proud to be a woman.

West Wittering beach huts in April

West Wittering beach huts in April

A Win for Cancer

It’s the day after Josh Stone, the son of the founder of Brave Ladies, had his charity boxing match with UWCB. Ultra White Collar Boxing is the biggest fundraising supporter for Cancer Research and Josh supported them with a fight of his own and WON!!!

An amazing night from beginning to end with two boxing rings, dramatic lighting, judges and of course the participants. Friendly rivalry on the night was apparent between the red and the blue teams with a great sense of sportsmanship and camaraderie throughout. There were three rounds to watch in each match and, although it was amateur boxing, there was no mistaking it was intense.  We watched and cheered for the participants throughout the evening until it came to the last match with Josh boxing his opponent. Mixed emotions filled us all.  With cheering, shouting screaming and even crying going on all around us it was exhilarating and emotional. When the referee declared Josh to be the winner the celebrations all around were deafening. What an amazing feat and we are all so proud of his achievement and attitude in, and out of, the boxing ring.

In amongst the highly emotionally charged night the commentator on his mic thanked the huge crowd in attendance for our support for the fighters. He thanked the fighters there to raise money for Cancer Research UK. He thanked us all for raising money to fight this awful disease that so many of us have fought, are fighting or have been affected by. Lets keep on fighting together by fundraising for research so that our win for cancer is one that knocks it out forever.

 

 

A Positive for Cancer

The last you all heard from me was we were attending the “match up” for Josh Stone the son of our founder at Brave Ladies.  The positivity in the room from all those partaking in the fight, organised by Ultra White Collar Boxing, was amazing and the support from family and friends was huge.

UWCB arrange glamorous black tie events at which there will be numerous boxing bouts all evening.  All participants are amateur boxers and have a personal reason for beginning their journey. The frustration we feel when watching a loved one deal with cancer is immense. I for one felt helpless. I felt that my knowledge on life as we knew it had been thrown out of the window. My way to cope was to read everything and try to garner at least a little knowledge for the road ahead in helping my friend. Men are different – as you may have noticed – and don’t often talk about feelings. So rather they feeling helpless Josh decided to be pro-active and signed himself up for a charity boxing match with Ultra White Collar Boxing, who are Cancer Research UK’s biggest fundraising supporter in the UK.

The fight against cancer is huge. Statistics estimate that more that a thousand people a day will be diagnosed with cancer by the end of 2016. This Saturday, March 19th, we will stand loud and proud supporting Josh, supporting cancer, through his own fight. Help us support him too through his JustGiving page below.

https://www.justgiving.com/Stone-Josh

Weigh in for Cancer

This evening we are attending the “match up” for Josh Stone, son of our founder Teresa Stone, before his fight with UWCB. It takes place on March 19th at Westcroft Leisure centre all in aid of Cancer Research UK.

Josh decided he wanted to support his mum through his own fight. Ultra White Collar Boxing to be exact. UWCB will put on a glamorous black tie event with boxing bouts throughout the evening and raise money for charity. Cancer Research UK is the charity for this event and Josh has rigorously worked towards his own fight by training day in and day out. A “match up” is when Josh will find out who he is fighting on the big night and help him prepare. Those attending the event organised by UWCB or donating to Josh’s Just Giving page – which can be found via our Facebook page – will help support the numerous people affected by the dreaded “C” word.

Tonight, for Josh, is about meeting and greeting his opponent. For many people out there the opponent is Cancer. We need to help raise as many pennies towards both fights and reach our combined end goal – beating cancer.

 

https://www.justgiving.com/Stone-Josh?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=Stone-Josh&utm_campaign=pfp-share-mobile

 

 

 

A mastectomy, the small things in life afterwards

brave ladies mastectomy swimwear

This month Brave Ladies went travelling to finish designing our 2016 mastectomy swimwear collection. We have so much pent up excitement and anticipation, of what is to come to all you ladies out there. It was simply fantastic to see our 2016 mastectomy collection coming to life. Bright, bold and beautifully flattering new bikinis,tankinis and swimwear for this season with all of the details especially designed with our customers in mind.

We travelled the week after the Paris massacre and it really made us sit and think about what is truly important to us. The appreciation that I have for my friends and family is paramount in my life but do I verbalise my feelings enough? Do I think about contacting people and then forget because “that’s life”? Do I put things off today to do them tomorrow, only to forget again? I guess the truthful answer would be yes! Yes I do forget. Yes I do have an extraordinarily busy life and yes I do put things on the back burner. Sometimes we need a wake up call to make us sit up and take notice, that life is passing by and we need to get back on track.

So, we returned home from finalising our mastectomy collection, happy and healthy, with a renewed vigour to make a few changes in our lives. I have made a bigger effort to be in contact with people more and not just by text either, but by conversing more. Technology is easy and convenient and can make life seem effortless but there are times where we need to make more of an effort so we don’t lose touch with reality. Sometimes it takes a life changing event – like cancer –  to put things into perspective.  Sometimes we just need a moment to stop and think. Sometimes we just need some time…

So, why not take some time for yourself and visit us at www.braveladies.co.uk and see if our mastectomy swimwear range – with mix and match options – is what you have been waiting for to get back on track.

Just a thought for the day BL

Does age matter after a mastectomy?
Teresa and Aoife with our models for the day.

Teresa and Aoife with our models.

Whilst watching a well-known television programme at the weekend I heard one of the judges utter these words, “You have just proved that age really is just a number.” I thought that, that is exactly the ethos we, at Brave Ladies, want especially for our mastectomy customers.

Age IS just a number!!! Who said we have to lose the colour from our wardrobe? Would you want to lose the colour from your character? We think not. Do you want to live in drab, dark colours? Or do you want to grab that little spark of inspiration that says, “Yes it is loud, and yes, I am proud.”

Colour gives vibrancy and feeling of life, especially after a mastectomy. Flowers, animals, sunsets, sunrises and of course clothes and make up, can all make us feel good. So why do we start dressing in darker colours and covering up? At what age are we supposed to “dress our age?” Why do we have to cover up after a mastectomy?

We chose the colours and patterns, for our 2015 mastectomy swimwear range, to show how easy it is to look and feel good. We designed our mastectomy range so you are in control of what you show. Most of us have parts we don’t want to show off but why dress older than you are? Why not join us, at Brave Ladies, in feeling good about yourself and add a splash of colour back into your life, before you splash into a pool in our mastectomy swimwear!!!

Just a little thought for the day.

Mastectomy Swimwear Launch Party!!!
Launch party set up and ready to go!

Brave Ladies launch party set up and ready to show off our mastectomy swimwear!

Mannequins displaying some of our 2015 collection.

Brave Ladies mannequins displaying some of our beautiful 2015 mastectomy swimwear collection.

Explaining our collection

Explaining our mastectomy swimwear collection and hidden pockets to use prosthesis beanies after surgery.

Teresa and Aoife with our models for the day.

Teresa and Aoife with our beautiful, vibrant mastectomy swimwear range models.

Two of our models cooling off in the pool.

Two of our bold models jumping in the pool to cool off after modelling our range.

Brave Ladies T.V, Radio and Launch Party!

Well what an amazing month! Brave Ladies appeared on LondonLive to give an interview on our venture. Then the following week we were interviewed on RidgeRadio and had an in-depth conversation about our story. After that we had our official launch party to show our swimwear to anyone who wished to join our celebration. What an amazing story to be a part of.

Life is too short. People use that phrase without thinking but, for some of us, it is. For those who have fought, and won, the daily battle of life ensues. Things that, for many people, are simple – like clothing. After mastectomies and lumpectomies this is simply not the case and women are left lacking in confidence and options. Brave Ladies has been set up to give women options back. We want to put sexy, comfortable, colourful swimwear back on the itinerary where it has been lacking.

Our interviews and launch party allowed us a platform to share our ideas. We had a fantastic time and the interest in our venture had been immense. We have answered so many questions about our designs because they are different. We want them to be different because we believe that we can embrace that difference. We want to make that difference a beautiful thing. So keep the questions coming and browse through the pictures from our launch party too!

Have a great day!

Aoife and Teresa at Brave Ladies

Brave Ladies Preview in Hometown!

Today we woke up and found we were looking back at ourselves on the front page, and page 3, of the Croydon Advertiser! We are ecstatic that people are finally getting to see what we have been so busy working on and also giggling at the amount of laughs we are getting for the page 3 thing!

Brave Ladies is so close to our hearts that, for others to see what we have created, and give such great feedback about it, is tremendous. Both Teresa and I have been smiling all-day and wanted to share our feel good vibe with everyone.

Of course, breast cancer is far from positive. This often-devastating disease was estimated to have affected 1.68 million women in 2012. It is the most common cancer in the UK with a risk of 1 in 8 women being diagnosed during their lifetime. These statistics* are scary and so very real, as are the women recovering from surgeries to be rid of this disease.

We want to help women feel better with our swimwear. The fit, the colour and, most importantly, the adaptability of the design are so important to us at Brave Ladies. It took us a long time to achieve what we were after but we think that our designs will inspire many women. Our journey has been inspired by the stories of many women. We hope you will join us in celebrating this by treating yourselves to something fabulous from the Brave Ladies range.

Have a great day!

Aoife and Teresa at Brave Ladies

* Statistics quoted are from Cancer Research UK as at May 2015

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