15 June 2021

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

“The significant drop in women starting breast cancer treatment in England over the last year indicates the alarming scale of the disruption the COVID-19 pandemic has had on breast cancer - in the worst cases women could die from the disease due to delays in diagnoses.

“Alongside adversely affecting the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, the pandemic has threatened our progress in breast cancer research and ability to deliver breakthroughs -  never have we more needed research as our source of hope as we look ahead, working hard to recover from the pandemic, but realising our ambition that by 2050 anyone with breast cancer will live and live well hinges on investment being made now to put research back on track.

“The imaging and diagnostic workforce is under considerable strain with increased GP referrals and a significant backlog of women awaiting breast screening and staff are working tirelessly under immense pressures, but until the Government invests in a strategic, fully funded long-term plan for the cancer workforce, some women with breast cancer will miss out on the prompt diagnosis that gives them the best chance of survival.

“It's vital that women attend breast screening when invited and check their breasts regularly, getting any new or unusual changes checked with the GP where COVID-19 infection safety measures are in place for appointments. Our expert nurses are on hand to provide information and support via our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.”