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Breast Cancer Now responds to Cancer Research UK’s estimate that the number of people diagnosed with cancer will ‘rise by a third by 2040’

Responding, Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“These new estimates revealing the number of people diagnosed with cancer is set to rise by a third by 2040, is cause for alarm; and in turn, suggests an estimated 1.2 million new breast cancer cases*.

“The breast cancer workforce is in a perilous situation that is detrimentally impacting on timely diagnosis and treatment, despite NHS staff working tirelessly to provide the best standard of care for patients.

“As more people develop breast cancer, the challenge to ensure people are seen, diagnosed, and start treatment as quickly as possible is also growing. Yet, latest waiting times data confirms our fears that we’re already not moving fast enough for breast cancer patients, with the percentage of people being seen within two weeks and starting breast cancer treatment within 62 days of an urgent referral, stagnating.

“Significant decline in uptake of breast screening over the last decade is also cause for deep concern, with screening being the most effective tool for diagnosing breast cancer early, when treatment is most likely to be successful.

“This is particularly harrowing following the disappointment at the government shelving the dedicated 10-year Cancer Plan and replacing it with a broad Major Conditions Strategy. It’s now vital that the government urgently acknowledges and addresses the chronically understaffed and overstretched state of our breast cancer workforce by publishing a fully funded long-term workforce plan. Only then will breast cancer patients be given the standard of care and treatment they deserve.”


Notes to editor

*Between 2023 and 2040.

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