Breast Cancer Care prove lobbying and campaigns work!

Taking it to the top


As many of you will know, 13 October 2010 was a landmark date for campaigning on secondary breast cancer.

As part of the first

Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day

in the UK,  Breast Cancer Care (BCC) held an event in Parliament.

One of the speakers was Annette Brooke MP, who is co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer.

Following the event, and a briefing from BCC, Annette asked the Prime Minister a question in Parliament about collecting data on secondary breast cancer.  She also invited David Cameron to meet the All Party Group. The Prime Minister agreed and a meeting was arranged for early December with the Chairs of the Group, Breast Cancer Care, Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Campaign (stakeholders to the All Party Group).

BCC’s Director of Policy and Research, Jane Hatfield, highlighted the specific needs of people living with secondary breast cancer and stressed the importance of accurate data collection to the PM as the starting point for improved services.

Annette and her co-chairs supported Jane, and David Cameron and Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow MP, agreed that data collection on all cancers is a priority for the coalition government and indicated that progress would be made quickly on the issue.

Following the meeting, the updated national strategy on cancer (Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer, was published),  including a specific commitment to begin piloting data collection on secondary breast cancer in 2011–12 with full data collection beginning in April 2012. The strategy includes a whole paragraph on this issue and makes the key point that without accurate data collection, services cannot be effectively planned for people with secondary breast cancer. It will also require all breast cancer patients to be discussed by a multidisciplinary team.

None of this would have happened without the sustained and dedicated work of so many women who established this campaign within Breast Cancer Care

and who have worked with BCC over the past few years, enabling them to engage the attention of the Prime Minister.

BCC say, “we would like to thank all the women with secondary breast cancer and the many healthcare professionals and voluntary sector colleagues who have worked so hard with us to campaign on this issue.

We will continue campaigning to contribute to this pilot and to ensure that the other priorities of the Spotlight campaign are addressed.  We will ensure that support services can be planned around patients and our campaigning work can really make a difference to the lives of anyone affected by secondary breast cancer”.

Come and Celebrate

If you were involved, to celebrate this landmark commitment to collect data on secondary breast cancer, BCC will be holding a reception on Tuesday 1 March, 5-6.30pm, in the Westgate Room, Breast Cancer Care, 5-13 Great Suffolk Street, London, SE1 0NS. Refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to helen.walsh@breastcancercare.org.uk or call 0207 960 3430.

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