Steve Brine attended a Westminster reception on Thursday 13th October to mark the UK's second Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day and hear the concerns and experiences of women living with secondary breast cancer.
Minister of State for Care Services, Paul Burstow MP, and Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer, Annette Brooke MP, both spoke at the event, which was organised by charity Breast Cancer Care and attended by other MPs and healthcare professionals.
Last year, at the inaugural Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Breast Cancer Care successfully campaigned for accurate data to be collected on the numbers of people living with secondary breast cancer in order to be able to provide care and services where they are needed. This year, the data collection project is underway. Last week's event highlights, however, the continuing need for improvements in the care, support and services offered to people living with secondary breast cancer.
Winchester and Chandler's Ford MP Steve Brine said: "I am proud to have attended the second Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day and to have heard the views of women directly affected by secondary breast cancer and the healthcare professionals who treat them.
"Following the success of Breast Cancer Care's campaigning work last year, this year's event has reinforced to me how isolated people with a secondary diagnosis can feel and has highlighted the continuing need for improvements in care and greater access to support for those living with secondary breast cancer through specialist secondary breast cancer nurses. It is nothing short of a scandal that we only have 20 secondary breast care nurses in the whole country. I am glad to support Breast Cancer Care in raising awareness of secondary breast cancer and in ensuring that meeting the needs of those living with the condition – especially the provision of specialist nurses – becomes a priority."
Liz Carroll, Director of Policy and Research at Breast Cancer Care, said: "We are very grateful to have the support of Steve Brine. In this tough economic climate it's more important than ever we ensure the needs of patients with secondary breast cancer stay at the forefront of policy-makers' minds. The support of Steve Brine will strengthen our campaign to put the spotlight on women with secondary breast cancer and ensure they get the care that they deserve and should be entitled to, including access to a specialist secondary breast care nurse.
"As our new book with tips for those living with secondary breast cancer says, it's 'the little things that make a big difference', so giving patients and healthcare professionals the chance to meet face-to-face with MPs to talk about their personal experiences is a vital part of Breast Cancer Care's campaigning work."
Pictured; Steve marked the UK's second Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day in the House of Commons
Find out more at www.breastcancercare.org.uk/secondary