5 February 2021

Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencing at Breast Cancer Now, said:

“Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women in the UK, with around 11,500 women dying from the disease every year. This new international data is a timely reminder that breast cancer has not been paused by COVID-19, and continues to have a devastating impact on people’s lives in the UK, and around the world.

“In the UK, breast cancer was dealt a huge blow with the first wave of the pandemic having major impacts across treatment and care and now, the already strained NHS is facing immense pressures due to a significant rise in COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions. It’s now vital that the Government provides significant long-term investment in the breast cancer workforce - in particular in imaging and diagnostics - to give all women the best chance of survival.

“Despite the pandemic, we must continue to look to the future and invest in research so that we can discover new ways to prevent breast cancer, save lives and help people live well with this devastating disease. While we hope these global studies will lead to exciting discoveries, this World Cancer Day it is important to celebrate the world-class scientists working in the UK, who continue to lead the way in breast cancer research.

“Breast Cancer Now funds over 360 of the brightest minds in breast cancer research across the UK and Ireland, giving us the power to drive progress on a global stage. But our world-class research has also been devastatingly affected by the COVID pandemic and we are now less able to fund new research that could transform the lives of people affected by breast cancer. Now more than ever, we need public support so that we can continue to give hope for the future through our research, and also so we can be there for the hundreds of thousands of people who need us. For more information and to donate visit www.breastcancernow.org/donate.”