23 March 2020

 

  • Breast Cancer Now’s end of treatment support app Becca translated into Welsh, thanks to 2017 National Lottery Community Fund grant
  • Thousands of people with breast cancer will now be able to access daily support in Welsh to help them adapt to life after treatment, following launch of new translation
  • Baroness Delyth Morgan: “We’re so proud that Becca is now bilingual and provides a Welsh language option, ensuring women across Wales can access support and information in their preferred language.”

Thousands of people with breast cancer will now be able to access daily support in Welsh direct to their phone, following the launch of a new Welsh language translation of a support app.

Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity, has launched a Welsh language option for its innovative and award-winning app, Becca, to help support more women in Wales adapt to life after breast cancer treatment.

Breast cancer is the UK’s most common cancer, with around 55,000 women and 370 men being diagnosed each year, including 2,900 people every year in Wales1,2.

With more women now surviving the disease thanks to decades of progress, there are an estimated 32,000 women alive after a breast cancer diagnosis in Wales3. Many face daily challenges as they adapt to life once hospital treatment ends, such as fears about the cancer returning and long-term side effects, like fatigue and menopausal symptoms, including hot flushes and joint pain.

For women diagnosed with breast cancer among the large rural population in Wales, there can also be difficulties in accessing health and care services and some may experience loneliness or isolation, which can make it more difficult to cope with any long term effects of breast cancer and its treatment.

Breast Cancer Now’s Becca app provides strategies, hints and tips on topics including exercise, managing side effects and coping with anxiety, as well as personal stories from others who’ve had a diagnosis, to support women as they adapt to life beyond breast cancer treatment.

To date, Becca has been used by over 42,000 people since its launch in May 2017 and won Best Health Project at the National Lottery Awards 2018 and also first prize in the User Engagement category at the British Medical Association Patient Information Awards 2019.

The new Welsh translation has been created thanks to funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which granted £655,000 in 2017 to help fund the initial development of the app, as well as a Welsh option to help make it more accessible and inclusive.

Breast Cancer Now has worked with a panel of Welsh-speaking volunteers who have all had a breast cancer diagnosis, professional translators and the National Lottery Community Welsh Office to develop the new feature.  

The grant has also helped fund the expansion of Becca’s content as well as the development of technology which enables the app to learn from users’ interactions and tailor content to their needs.

Glenda Burke, 55 from Porthmadog, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2017 and used Becca after finishing her hospital treatment in 2018. She welcomes the app’s translation into Welsh – her first language – and said:

“Finishing treatment was really scary because I suddenly no longer had my hospital team there to support and reassure me – I felt totally alone. I also struggled with not feeling ‘back to normal’ straight away and put pressure on myself, returning to work far too early despite not being ready, physically or emotionally.

“A friend recommended that I download Becca to help me move forward and it’s been fantastic. It reassures me that I’m not the only one worrying about the cancer returning and it also gives tips on managing the side effects from treatment that I’m experiencing, including fatigue and joint pain.

“Now I’m able to access Becca in Welsh, the app is even more relevant for me. It’s the language I’m most comfortable using and I know so many other women will really appreciate this option too.”

Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity, said*:

“We’re so proud that Becca, our unique end of treatment support app, is now bilingual and provides a Welsh language option, ensuring women in Wales can access its information and support in their preferred language.

“Women often feel very vulnerable at the end of breast cancer treatment, with many experiencing fears about the cancer coming back, damaged body confidence and debilitating side effects, from lymphoedema and pain to hot flushes and night sweats. Offering the Becca app’s tailored support in Welsh will help make it as accessible as possible for women in Wales and empower and equip more women for life beyond breast cancer treatment.

“Anyone looking for support and information can call our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000 to speak to one of our nurses.”

Breast Cancer Now’s free Becca app can be downloaded from the App Store and on Google Play. To access the Welsh translation, create an account and select ‘Cymraeg (Welsh)’ in the ‘Settings’ section. For more information, visit breastcancernow.org/becca

ENDS

For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact Georgia Tilley (Press Officer) 020 3105 3360, 0345 092 0807 or at georgia.tilley@breastcancernow.org. If out-of-hours, please contact 07436107914.

Notes to editor

1. Average total of UK invasive breast cancer cases between 2014 and 2016 (55,214)
2. Breast Cancer, Welsh Surveillance and Intelligence Unit 2014-16
3. Updated UK Complete Cancer Prevalence (2017). Macmillan-NCRAS Cancer Prevalence Project.

*This quote has been translated from English to Welsh. We cannot offer Delyth for Welsh speaking media interviews.

About Breast Cancer Now:

  • Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s first comprehensive breast cancer charity, combining world-class research and life-changing care to build a complete view of breast cancer and make faster progress for everyone affected.
  • Steered by research and powered by care, Breast Cancer Now’s ambition is that, by 2050, everyone who develops breast cancer will live and be supported to live well.
  • Breast Cancer Now funds around a third of all breast cancer research in the UK. By working with almost 340 of the brightest minds in breast cancer research, the charity is helping discover how to prevent more cases, save more lives and enable more women to live well with the disease.
  • The charity’s award-winning information, services and courses are there to make sure anyone diagnosed with breast cancer can get the support they need to live well with impacts of the disease. Anyone looking for support or information can call Breast Cancer Now’s free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.
  • Breast cancer is the UK’s most common cancer, with around 55,000 women and 370 men being diagnosed each year. An estimated 600,000 people in the UK are alive after a diagnosis of breast cancer, and one in seven women will develop the disease in their lifetime.
  • Despite decades of progress in research and care, around 11,500 women and 80 men still die from the disease every year in the UK, with hundreds of thousands more living with the devastating, long-term physical and emotional impacts of the disease.
  • Breast Cancer Now, the research and care charity, launched in October 2019, created by the merger of specialist support and information charity Breast Cancer Care and leading research charity Breast Cancer Now.
  • For more information on Breast Cancer Now’s work, visit breastcancernow.org or follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.