NHS England have announced it will be funding a national audit of Metastatic Breast Cancer. This audit will provide the Health Service with up to date figures on the number of people in England with secondary breast cancer.
West Lancashire MP and Commons Health Select Committee Member Rosie Cooper had recently pressed the government on this important issue. On the floor of the House in April, she said that women with metastatic Breast Cancer are only counted when they die and asked the Minister whether she would commit to ensuring the requirement to collect this data is enforced.
In response to this announcement, Rosie Cooper MP said:
“It is great news that NHS England are now funding this audit, but I cannot understand why was this not already being done? Since 2013 there has been a mandatory requirement to collect this data, but it has largely been ignored.
“It is just not acceptable to count only the dead, not the living. I have been working with charities like Breast Cancer Now to draw attention to this issue and felt it was necessary to push the Minister of State for Care on this at Health and Social Care Questions in Parliament.
“Collection of this data is vital, and I am pleased the Minister and Health Service have acted on this glaring omission. This audit is a good step forward to support research and the development of treatment for Metastatic Breast Cancer and will hopefully reassure women with secondary breast cancer that they are not being forgotten or ignored.”
Mia Rosenblatt, Associate Director of Policy, Evidence and Influencing at Breast Cancer Now, said:
“The announcement of a National Metastatic Breast Cancer Audit in England marks a long-awaited milestone for patients with incurable breast cancer, and we’re so grateful to MPs, including Rosie, who’ve worked with Breast Cancer Now and our supporters to help make this happen.
“Until now, women with secondary breast cancer have felt overlooked and forgotten at an already frightening and challenging time. While this data won’t be available immediately, it brings hope for patients in the future as it will inform the development of treatment, care and support that gives people with this devastating disease the best chance to live well for as long as possible.”