Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has given his support to a campaign led by the charity Breast Cancer Care which seeks to ensure that every breast cancer patient has access to tailored support including access to a health and wellbeing event after hospital treatment ends.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK – one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Every year nearly 55,000 people are diagnosed with (invasive) breast cancer in the UK. In Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, there were 2,139 new cases of (invasive) breast cancer in 2015 alone.
The charity says breast cancer-specific support must be introduced in hospitals to enable women to manage their unique symptoms and side effects, which differ considerably from other common cancers. Yet, it found that over half (51%) of Hospital Trusts don’t provide a specific breast cancer support event when women finish hospital treatment.
However, many people experience long term effects of breast cancer treatment. This includes fatigue, pain, lymphoedema, anxiety, depression, altered body image, relationship issues and financial concerns. Breast Cancer Care conducted research which showed:
- To fifths (41%) of women with breast cancer do not receive the professional support they need to cope with the long-term effects of disease.
- Before finishing hospital treatment, just under half (46%) of women with breast cancer are not told about possible long-term effects of the disease and its treatment by a healthcare professional.
- Over half (55%) of women are not given any information about the signs and symptoms of the cancer returning.
- A third (34%) of women with breast cancer have constant pain as a result of treatment.
There are an estimated 691,000 people in the UK living with breast cancer – this means they the need for post-treatment support will only increase in future. In response, Gwynne will write to Cancer Alliances across Tameside and Stockport to ensure every women is offered a breast cancer specific health and safety event.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Cancer is something that touches so many people across the country, however the good news is that breast cancer survival rates are improving with survival rates doubling in the last 40 years, with almost nine in 10 women now surviving breast cancer for five years or more.
“I back the Care After Breast Cancer campaign because women with breast cancer are just not receiving the professional support they need to cope with the long-term effects of this disease.”
 Cancer Research UK (2014)