St Austell and Newquay’s Member of Parliament Steve Double has worked with research and care Charity Breast Cancer Now to secure a Metastatic Breast Cancer Audit for patients in England.
Although data collection relating to the number of people diagnosed with secondary breast cancer was made mandatory in 2013 in England, this was still not routinely happening, meaning there is an absence of accurate data on the number of secondary breast cancer diagnoses each year, how many people are living with the disease or length of survival following diagnosis.
This lack of accurate and easily accessible data makes it difficult for commissioners and healthcare providers to understand their local patient populations, what their needs are and how to plan services and support to adequately meet them.
A metastatic breast cancer audit in England should provide a clear picture of how many people there are living with secondary breast cancer, as well as their experiences and needs, and this will in turn lead to patients living with this disease being better supported and less alone; to cancer services and clinical trials being planned to meet their needs, and to the staff needed to help these patients being properly resourced.
Commenting Steve said:
“We lost my Mum to secondary breast cancer at the age of 62, so I am very much aware breast cancer is a terrible disease that blights the lives of so many. There was a clear gap in provision of an audit for secondary breast cancer, and I am pleased, in my role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Health, to have worked with Breast Cancer Now and Health Ministers to make the clear and sensible for an audit to take place.”
“Now this has been agreed, I hope it will help our NHS understand a clear picture of how many people there are living with this disease, and in turn give patients and their families more of the support they need while receiving treatment.”
Mia Rosenblatt, Associate Director of Policy, Evidence and Influencing at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“The announcement of a National Metastatic Breast Cancer Audit in England marks a long-awaited milestone for patients with incurable breast cancer, and we’re so grateful to MPs, including Steve, who’ve worked with Breast Cancer Now and our supporters to help make this happen.
“Until now, women with secondary breast cancer have felt overlooked and forgotten at an already frightening and challenging time. While this data won’t be available immediately, it brings hope for patients in the future as it will inform the development of treatment, care and support that gives people with this devastating disease the best chance to live well for as long as possible.”