What needed to change

Many people living with secondary breast cancer experience delays in diagnosis, leading to a delay in receiving vital treatment and care.

72% of hospital organisations in England, Scotland and Wales did not give people access to a dedicated secondary breast cancer nurse. 

40% of hospital organisations across the UK could not tell us how many secondary breast cancer patients are currently under their care.

70% of hospital organisations across the UK did not assess people’s emotional and physical needs when diagnoses and as their treatment changes.

What you helped us do

So, we launched one of the most comprehensive surveys ever of those affected by incurable breast cancer in the UK with over 800 people responding.

In July 2016, thanks to those who took part in our survey, we launched a report highlighting issues people face getting a diagnosis of secondary. Two months later, our second report focused on data gathered in hospitals.

Alongside Breast Cancer Now supporters, we took these reports to the Scottish National Party, Labour and Conservative political party conferences. We shared the findings with decision makers and let them know what they could do to help.

On 13 October 2016, we took to Parliament, hosting an event to mark secondary breast cancer awareness day. Following this, Jo Churchill MP asked the Prime Minister about secondary breast cancer during Prime Minister’s Questions.

We also asked you to write to your local politician to ask if they would support the need for a secondary support package. Over 2,100 of you stepped up and with your help, over 60 politicians supported our call for change.

What we achieved together

  • In Wales, the Welsh Government established a Task and Finish group to assess the need for secondary breast cancer nurses.
  • In Scotland, the Scottish Government produced recommendations to improve secondary breast cancer services.
  • In England, the NHS Long Term Plan included a commitment to provide nursing support for people with secondary breast cancer.

What’s next?

Our work supporting people living with secondary breast cancer patients is not over. Check our latest secondary breast cancer campaign to see what we’re currently doing. If you want to be part of future campaigns to support people living with secondary breast cancer, sign-up to receive our updates. You’ll be the first to hear about ways to take action to make things better for people affected by breast cancer.

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