Alberto Costa, MP for South Leicestershire, met with Breast Cancer Care in Parliament to pledge their support to the charity’s campaign to end second-rate care for people with incurable secondary breast cancer.
Following Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Saturday 13 October, Mr Costa attended Breast Cancer Care’s event hosted by Nic Dakin MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer – an influential group raising the profile of breast cancer issues within parliament.
With Freedom of Information data from the charity revealing almost three quarters (72%) of NHS Trusts and Health Boards across England, Scotland and Wales are not providing a dedicated nurse for people living with incurable breast cancer, Breast Cancer Care is calling for everyone to have access to the specialist support they need.
Alberto met women living with incurable breast cancer and heard about how specialist nursing and support can dramatically improve the quality of life of people with the disease.
Alberto said, “It is so important to ensure that people living with incurable secondary breast cancer do not feel forgotten. It is shocking that so many are not receiving the specialist support they need, like access to a dedicated nurse. I am calling on the Government to create a Secondary Support Package to ensure that everyone living with incurable breast cancer has access to vital support from their diagnosis to help them live well.”
Gunes Kalkan, Head of Evidence, Policy and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Care, added, “We are extremely grateful to Alberto for joining us to mark Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day and show his support for our campaign to improve care for people with incurable secondary breast cancer. We are calling on all UK Governments to create a Secondary Support Package to ensure specialist and ongoing support for everyone with incurable breast cancer. Funding must also be made available to recruit and train the urgently needed clinical nurse specialists, starting with a commitment in the NHS England Long Term Plan published next month.”
Breast Cancer Care is calling for everyone diagnosed with the incurable disease to have a Secondary Support Package at the point of diagnosis to ensure they can access a dedicated nurse to co-ordinate their care and a referral to tailored support services, to give them the vital, specialist support they need to live well.
Breast Cancer Care’s full report, Incurable Should Not Mean Unsupported, is available at breastcancercare.org.uk/secondary
Alberto is pictured above with Mr David Crosby, Director of Services for Breast Cancer Care.