Last week Breast Cancer Care met with Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer 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 (13 October), Annette attended a Parliamentary event 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.
Annette said: “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.
Diana Jupp, Director of Services and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Care, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to Annette 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.”
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