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Andrew Jones Member of Parliament for Harrogate & Knaresborough

Andrew Jones MP

Member of Parliament for Harrogate & Knaresborough

Local MP supports charity’s call for tailored breast cancer support at treatment end

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough, met with Breast Cancer Care at parliament this week to support the launch of their new Care After Breast Cancer campaign.

A landmark survey by the charity, of almost 3,000 women with primary breast cancer, has revealed that two fifths (41%) did not receive the professional support they needed to cope with the long-term effects of the disease.

Breast Cancer Care now seeks a commitment from the Department of Health and Social Care that every woman who needs it should have access to a breast cancer-specific support event to help them start to navigate life after treatment.

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 per cent) of Hospital Trusts don’t provide a specific breast cancer support event when women finish hospital treatment.

There are an estimated 579,000 women living with a breast cancer diagnosis in England.

The survey also found that before finishing hospital treatment just under half (46 per cent) of women with breast cancer are not told, by a healthcare professional, about all the possible long-term effects of the disease and its treatment. And a third (32 per cent) of women with breast cancer experience fatigue as a result of treatment that has prevented them from continuing with their normal daily life.

Andrew Jones said: “It is so important we support people properly at the end of hospital treatment so we can empower them to live life after breast cancer with confidence.

“I want everyone to have access to the specialised, ongoing support they need after hospital treatment ends.”

Gunes Kalkan, Head of Evidence, Policy and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Care, said: “We are extremely grateful to Andrew for joining us to show his support for our campaign to ensure women with breast cancer get the healthcare support they so desperately need to face the life-changing and long-term emotional and physical effects.

“Great strides in treatment over the last 70 years mean that more and more women are surviving breast cancer. Now it’s crucial the system catches up and ensures these women are given the ongoing care they need to live well – not just to survive.”

Anyone can join the Care After Breast Cancer campaign – visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/cancer-care.

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