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Breast cancer sufferers make video plea

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 12/10/2016

A group of New Zealanders with advanced breast cancer have made a video plea in support of a campaign for an urgent increase in funding for new medicines.

The video is part of the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition's bid to get people to sign an online open letter to Health Minister Jonathan Colemen.

Coalition chair Libby Burgess says the campaign will be launched on Thursday - Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day - and will highlight the plight of women with advanced breast cancer.

She says New Zealanders are missing out on ground-breaking new medicines used widely overseas.

"Medicines such as Kadcyla and Perjeta have had dramatic results in extending women's lives," she said.

"They are funded in Australia, but they are not publicly-funded here. New Zealand women need and deserve these drugs too."

Auckland mother-of-three Kelleigh Burkett, who is among those in the video, moved to Australia for a period to participate in a clinical trial in order to get access to medicines not available in New Zealand.

"Thirty per cent of women with breast cancer have advanced breast cancer," she said.

"Surely, we're worth the extra money to extend our lives to raise our families, to work. We can still contribute so much to the community."

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