I am a strong supporter of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, who recently launched their strategy for 2013-2025. It is an impressive document and makes some important points about the disease.
Most significantly, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with about 50,000 new cases every year. For men, there are about 400 cases per year. With breast cancer making up about a quarter of all the cancer cases in the UK, it is obvious that advances in preventing, treating, and curing this disease would save many lives, and save the NHS many resources.
Breakthrough Breast Cancer is focussing on a five-point plan :
- To realise the potential for preventative drugs, but also to promote the value of a healthy lifestyle in general. It’s estimated that 40% of cases could be avoided if the sufferer had adopted a healthier lifestyle.
- If prevention is not possible, early diagnosis is key. It is vital that women check themselves regularly, and report anything unusual to a doctor.
- Breast cancer is being treated more effectively than ever. This is good news, but cells can become resistant to certain drugs over time, and research must continue to find new and better treatments.
- Metastatic breast cancer – cancerous cells moving round the body, and spreading the cancer to other organs – is a significant problem. Almost all breast cancers deaths are as a result of this process and it must receive greater focus.
- Encouraging supportive communities and raising awareness is key in increasing public knowledge of the disease and raising charitable funding against it.
I am proud to be associated with the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Committee locally, who work so hard to raise vital funds and increase awareness.