Angela shows support for secondary breast cancer
Recently Breast Cancer Care met with Angela at Parliament, after a survey by the charity revealed that the majority (90%) of secondary breast cancer patients are experiencing physical pain, many almost daily.
As part of Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day (October 13th), Angela attended the event - hosted by Steve Brine MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer - to meet with women who have been diagnosed with the disease, and highlight the charity’s campaign and petition.
Alarmingly the survey findings reveal that two-fifths (41%) have never been offered a referral to a palliative care team by their healthcare professional. So Breast Cancer Care is calling for healthcare professionals to make all secondary breast cancer patients aware, at the point of diagnosis, how palliative care can help to manage their pain.
Commenting Angela said said:
Suggested quote: “It is extremely important to be showing my support for secondary breast cancer patients today. These survey findings are very shocking and more must be done to ensure these patients are receiving prompt referral for palliative care, before it’s too late. I would encourage my constituents to back Breast Cancer Care’s campaign and sign their petition.”
The poll of more than 200 people living with a secondary breast cancer diagnosis - where the cancer has spread and although can be controlled, cannot be cured –. found that more than three-quarters (78%) said they couldn’t undertake normal activities like housework or childcare and two-thirds (70%) said it had an impact on their relationships and intimacy.
Eleanor Meade, 56, who received a secondary breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, says:
“I only heard about palliative care through speaking to other women who had secondary breast cancer and I feel that’s unacceptable. I needed it much sooner than that. In my opinion women, or men, with secondary breast cancer should be informed that the hospice [where many palliative care experts are based] has the facilities to make their lives much easier very early on in the diagnosis.”
Diana Jupp, Director of Services and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Care, says:
“We want to say a huge thank you to Angela for coming along to our event and showing her support. This is an incredibly important issue. We speak to more women living with secondary breast cancer than any other organisation and we know they feel their support and care is second rate.
“This survey shows just how many secondary breast cancer patients are struggling on in excruciating pain and, because of a lack of timely access to palliative care, not receiving the care and support they need.
“We want secondary breast cancer to be a priority on the health agenda, only then will this group of patients begin to have the support and care they need to help them as they live with their diagnosis.”
Sign here to help ensure secondary breast cancer is a priority on the health agenda and help women living with the disease receive the care they need: www.breastcancercare.org.uk/hiddeneffects
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Notes to Editors
Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist breast cancer support charity working throughout the UK. We were founded in 1973 by Betty Westgate, who was herself diagnosed with breast cancer. In the ensuing forty years we have supported millions of women and their families through our face-to-face, phone and online services. We also provide training, support and networking opportunities to specialist breast cancer nurses, and Breast Cancer Care publications are used by the majority of breast cancer units throughout the UK. We campaign for better support and care and promote the importance of early detection, involving people with breast cancer in all that we do. Visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk or call our free helpline on 0808 800 6000.