This year, you helped us campaign to get vital care, information and support for people with secondary breast cancer. Here are six ways you helped us campaign for better care.
1. You campaigned for a Secondary Support Package
72% of hospital organisations in England, Scotland and Wales do not give people access to a dedicated secondary breast care nurse. Over 2,100 of you took action in October by asking your local politician to endorse of the need for a Secondary Support Package to ensure people with secondary breast cancer access the vital care they need.
The campaign successes so far:
- Over 60 politicians support our call for change.
- The Welsh Government has now established a Task and Finish group to assess the need for secondary breast cancer nurses.
- The Scottish Government is producing recommendations to improve secondary breast cancer services following our campaign.
In England, we’ve raised the need for dedicated secondary clinical nurse specialists with NHS England and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
These are vital steps towards ensuring people living with this disease get the support they need.
Nic Dakin MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on cancer with secondary breast cancer nurses and patient representatives.
2. You campaigned to improve care after breast cancer
51% of Hospital Trusts don’t provide a specific breast cancer support event when women finish hospital treatment for primary breast cancer. In July, nearly 1,400 of you emailed your local politician asking them to contact their Cancer Alliance, Cancer Network or Health Board.
Because of you we secured meetings with the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, Cancer Alliances and Networks to discuss our recommendations further and work with them to improve care after breast cancer.
Philippa Whitford MP with our campaigner, Stella Maher
3. You helped us raise awareness about Breast Cancer Care in Parliament
In May, you wrote to your MP inviting them to our event in the Houses of Parliament to raise awareness of Afternoon Tea, Breast Cancer Care’s summer fundraising event. 54 MPs attended to encourage people to raise vital funds to help support more of the 55,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Marsha De Cordova MP
4. You helped change NICE guidance to improve access to fertility treatment for people with primary breast cancer
Thanks to your input, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) took on board our call for the updated guidance on early and locally advanced breast cancer to include reference to fertility issues, as there was previously no mention of it. This now signposts healthcare professionals to the impact of breast cancer treatment on fertility, which should ensure all younger women diagnosed with breast cancer will now be told about.
5. You helped us influence the NHS Long-Term Plan
We wanted to ensure patient voices were included in the development of the new NHS England long-term cancer plan, following the Government’s announcement of a £20.5 billion funding increase. Your views and experiences were vital to help us influence NHS England on what we think needs to change to improve the lives of people affected by breast cancer.
6. You helped us make vital drugs for treating breast cancer available in NHS Scotland
By sharing your experiences, we were able to tell the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) why it was vital to ensure everyone in Scotland has access to pertuzumab for HER2 positive primary breast cancer and ribociclib for treating HER2 negative secondary breast cancer, no matter where they lived.
These drugs were already available to women in England and Wales. Through your campaigning, these drugs will be available to everyone in Scotland.
Join our Campaigns Network and find out how you can help us secure better care for people affected by breast cancer.