Baroness Delyth Morgan, chief executive at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“That millions of lives have been saved from cancer in the last 40 years is testament to immense advances made in diagnosing and treating the disease. But we know that for breast cancer our work is far from done with 11,500 people dying from the disease every year in the UK.
“Right now, breast cancer care is in a precarious position and the decades of progress we have made could quickly unravel. While the breast screening programme alone prevents around 1,300 breast cancer deaths every year in the UK, it has reached breaking point after years of neglect. And despite the tireless work of NHS staff, people with breast cancer continue to experience unacceptable delays to starting their treatment following a GP referral.
“Urgent action is needed to get breast cancer services back on track. In England, the government must fix the breast screening programme to guarantee women’s access both now and in the future. This means making it easier for women to arrange and attend screening, addressing health inequalities in uptake, and modernising the programme’s failing IT systems.
“Still so much needs to be done to ensure the increasing numbers of people living with and beyond breast cancer get the treatment and support they need to live well. We’ll continue to fund research, campaign and support anyone affected by this devastating disease so that everyone diagnosed with breast cancer lives and lives well.”