Friday, 11 January 2013
BREAST CANCER VICTIMS DENIED DES INFORMATION
11th January 2013
Australian breast cancer victims denied DES information
A breakthrough legal case this week in Boston USA against drug company Eli Lilly has opened the compensation floodgates for breast cancer victims who were exposed in the womb to the anti-miscarriage drug DES. But thousands of Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer are oblivious to the fact of their DES exposure, its full health implications, the vital health care they need, and that they too, might have opportunity to get compensation.
DES, or diethylstilboestrol, was prescribed to millions of pregnant women over three decades to prevent miscarriage. It was taken off the market in the early 1970s after it was linked to clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina/cervix in women exposed to DES fin the womb. The DES Action group in NSW says there would be thousands of women diagnosed with breast cancer among their estimated 185,000 DES daughters in Australia who are oblivious to the link between DES and breast cancer.
"The DES health situation in this country is a huge mess," says Carol Devine, the group's coordinator. "Protecting drug companies is likely at the core of it, especially where the government refuses to promote the DES health issue in public health programs." "The population is oblivious to this extremely harmful drug and now our breast cancer victims are suffering," adds Devine.
The Breastscreen Australia Evaluation Report in 2009 stated DES daughters do not require extra screening. However, there is contradictory advice by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Cancer Council NSW that DES daughters should have annual mammography and breast checks.
More information about DES at www.desnsw.blogspot.com