Please allow me to assure you that every effort is being made to continue raising awareness of breast cancer and to improve the treatment of all those diagnosed with this disease.
I’m delighted that breast cancer survival rates have improved remarkably over the last 40 years, with five-year survival rates for women at over 86 per cent, up from just 53 per cent in the 1970s. This is a testament to the efforts made to raise awareness of, and boost funding into tackling this disease but more must be done.
I am glad the Public Health England campaign, Be Clear on Cancer, continues to raise awareness of breast cancer among women over 70, who account for roughly 1 in 3 cases of the disease. First launched in 2014, the campaign drives awareness around key symptoms of breast cancer, encouraging thinking, acting, and treating early.
Great efforts are being made to improve cancer services and to ensure that the NHS continues to provide some of the world’s best cancer care. The NHS has launched the National Cancer Programme which is committed to offering uniquely tailored cancer treatment to all patients with breast cancer by the end of 2020. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has also updated its guidance on diagnosing and treating breast cancer. This guidance aims to help healthcare professionals offer the right treatments to people diagnosed with breast cancer, taking into account their individual preferences which I am encouraged will significantly improve patient experience and quality of care.
These measures form just part of the NHS’s ambitious wider strategy to improve cancer outcomes. The NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) was published in January 2019 and commits to improving detection, with more targeted screening and Rapid Access Diagnostic Centres, so that in 10 years’ time these measures will help achieve 55,000 more people surviving cancer each year.
Please do not hesitate at all to get in touch with me to discuss any concerns that you may have personally affecting you.