Debbie Abrahams MP Opens UK’s First Ever Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference

Debbie Abrahams, Labour MP for Oldham East & Saddleworth recently opened the first ever Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Conference in Greater Manchester.

Working alongside METUP UK – set up by her constituent Jo Taylor, as well as Mayor Andy Burnham and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority; Debbie delivered the opening address at the event and will sit on the taskforce to improve services and outcomes for people with metastatic (secondary) breast cancer that was established at the conference.

Speaking about her role at the event, Debbie Abrahams MP said:

“It is incredible to think that only in January, I met with Jo and Andy Burnham to discuss some of the issues facing people living with MBC and explore how Greater Manchester can use its devolved health budget to improve services and outcomes for patients living here.

Six months later – here we are; bringing together the scientists, clinicians, policy makers and NHS leaders who can move this agenda forward and the taskforce we have set-up will report back in six months on meeting the targets we have set.’

Ms. Abrahams has been working with METUPUK for several years and recently hosted their campaign ‘The Darker Side of Pink’ in the Houses of Parliament. METUPUK is the only patient advocacy group in the UK focusing on MBC. Founded by Jo Taylor to highlight the issues affecting those diagnosed with MBC such as lack of access to pharmaceutical drugs, treatments, surgeries and clinical trials.

Ms. Abrahams said:

‘I have known my constituent Jo for many years and worked with her on projects and campaigns here in Oldham and Westminster – but this is certainly the biggest one yet; we want to make a permanent, positive difference to the lives of people diagnosed with secondary cancer. We want to improve the way data is shared and used, develop new modes of identifying MBC earlier, pressure the government to publish the NHS workforce plan with meaningful actions to address workforce gaps that are affecting cancer patients; as well as many other objectives.’

Jo Taylor, local resident and founder of METUPUK said:

‘Thanks so much for the support from Debbie Abrahams, Andy Burnham and Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance as METUPUK hosted the first ever patient driven metastatic/secondary breast cancer conference in Manchester creating a fantastic event with many clinical staff attending.  As a charity we are committed to making change and this will be the start of a focus on MBC so that we work towards better outcomes for patients with the disease.  We’re hoping this can be a “case for change” and that other Cancer Alliances and NHS hospitals will be able to follow what we do to support patients better.’

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