MP for Bristol East, Kerry McCarthy, recently met with her constituent, Paulette Blake, from Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s Campaigns & Advocacy Network (CAN) at the 12th annual Westminster Fly-In event to discuss how to improve breast cancer survival rates. Kerry signed up to Breakthrough’s Bridging the Gap in Breast Cancer Survival Charter, which outlines the commitments needed to make sure more women survive breast cancer.
Nearly 48,000 women and 300 men are diagnosed with the disease each year, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK. Even though more women are surviving breast cancer than ever before thanks to better awareness, screening and treatments, survival in England still lags behind some other European countries. If England was to achieve survival rates at the European best for breast cancer, an estimated 1,000 lives could be saved each year.
In response to this challenge, Breakthrough Breast Cancer developed the Bridging the Gap in Breast Cancer Survival Charter and believes that the Government can tackle this issue by supporting its key principles; promoting breast awareness messages to help drive early diagnosis, providing access for all eligible women to gold standard NHS Breast Screening Programmes and maximising the potential of breast cancer research, to create personalised or targeted treatments.
Kerry signed the charter saying “We have the opportunity to make effective change that can save lives. It is clear that by following these principles, we give ourselves the best possible chance to match our European counterparts’ breast cancer survival rates and make a real difference.”
Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: “Breast cancer knows no political, social or demographic boundaries – it has the ability to affect everyone. That’s why more needs to be done to bridge the gap in breast cancer survival rates. It’s great that the MPs here today have signed up to support our Charter but the next step is for us to see real action and for MPs to really throw their weight behind it so we can end the fear of this disease for good.”
You can support Breakthrough Breast Cancer and find out more about the work it does at www.breakthrough.org.uk/gap