Here, she tells her story of how breast cancer has affected her family and why she’s backing the campaign.
Breast cancer is a terrible disease which has affected a number of people close to me; my Mum, Grandma and Great Grandma have all suffered, and my sister and I have now been identified as being at an increased risk.
It was incredibly difficult to watch my mum go through some really tough treatment, which left her unwell and in significant pain. She has an ongoing condition as a result of her breast cancer, which will require lifelong treatment. If I could do anything to reduce the risk of me, my sister or anyone else having to experience this same situation, I know I would. I am incredibly close to my sister, and find the thought of having to watch her go through the same ordeal that my mum has faced unbearable.
Both my sister and I maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet; we don’t smoke, we eat well and exercise regularly to try to maintain a good level of health. On my last visit to my GP, and following a conversation with Breast Cancer Now, I mentioned chemoprevention drugs to my doctor, and I found it surprising that she wasn’t really aware of the situation with regards to these drugs as an option for reducing the risk of breast cancer. As a result, this isn’t something that I’ve felt able to pursue, as my doctor wasn’t able to explain the risks and benefits to me.
I don’t understand the logic of cheap and effective drugs that could prevent this devastating disease not even being offered to everyone who could benefit from them. The Government should be doing more to fix this problem right now. By changing legislation to ensure that off-patent drugs are licensed, the availability of these drugs on the NHS would increase, and many more people would benefit from them. I fully support Breast Cancer Now's work to encourage the Government to act in the public's interest, rather than relying on pharmaceutical companies whose interest is financial.
The success of this campaign could provide countless individuals with access to an effective, low cost option to help prevent breast cancer. Having seen the real impact of breast cancer, I truly believe that, if this Bill can help to prevent anyone else from experiencing this terrible disease, it deserves everyone's full support.
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