Ahead of Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day today, I attended Breast Cancer Care’s parliamentary event – hosted by Sharon Hodgson MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer and new Shadow Public Health Minister – to meet women living with incurable breast cancer and call for an end to second-rate care.
It is so important we show our support for women living with incurable secondary breast cancer. It is absolutely vital that this Breast Cancer Awareness Month people with incurable breast cancer are not forgotten.
A survey of people with incurable breast cancer by Breast Cancer Care revealed just over a fifth (21%) of people who previously had breast cancer are first treated by their GP for another condition. And more than four in 10 (42%) do not feel their overall care is well-managed and well-coordinated. This suggests people living with incurable breast cancer are not getting the care and support they need.
In addition, a report from the charity reveals that, despite it being mandatory since 2013, a fifth (19%) of Hospital Trusts are not collecting any data about the number of people diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. And almost half (47%) are not recording the numbers fully.
Breast Cancer Care believes incomplete data for the number of people with incurable breast cancer is one of the major barriers to urgently needed improvements to poor care.
I am calling on the Government to do more to support women and men affected by incurable breast cancer and make vital improvements to care.
Danni Manzi, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Care, says:
“We are extremely grateful to Debbie Abrahams for joining us ahead of Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day to show her support for our “Secondary. Not second rate.” campaign, improving care for incurable secondary breast cancer patients.
There are still gaps in care for people with incurable breast cancer and consistent data collection is essential to enable crucial services and support to be planned effectively for people living with the disease.
We are calling on the Government, Public Health England and NHS England to do all they can to ensure everyone with incurable breast cancer gets the best care possible.”
When time is uncertain, women with secondary breast cancer need to be certain of your support. Act today to improve care, visit breastcancercare.org.uk/secondary