Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Cambridge MP Backs Call For Gold Standard Of Breast Cancer Care

MP Julian Huppert has backed a cross-party Parliamentary report calling for a gold standard of care for older breast cancer patients.

The report “Age is just a number” outlines proactive measures to tackle the inequality of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and support for women over 70 which has been a long suspected problem in the NHS.

It says that older women should be entitled to routine breast screening invitations and breast cancer patients should be judged by their fitness to undergo treatment and not by their age alone.

Julian attended the launch of the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer which has joined forces with the UK’s leading breast cancer charities to tackle inequality amongst breast cancer patients.

He said: “There can be no justification for denying older breast cancer patients access to the full treatment and support options purely because of their age. We have an ageing population in this country and it is a known fact that the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age.

“I hope the government will take the report’s recommendations on board so that we can do everything in our power to give older women routine screening invitations and hopefully better treatment and more positive outcomes.”

Some of the main areas highlighted in the report as requiring attention are:

  • Breast awareness needs to be improved among older women to give them a better chance of survival.
  • The current breast cancer screening age extension trial should be extended further, up to 79.
  • Older breast cancer patients should not be judged by their age but by their individual fitness for treatment
  • The additional needs of older breast cancer patients must be taken into account at time of diagnosis to ensure that the best, tailored support system is provided.

The charities Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign said in a joint statement: “No one’s age should dictate their access to the best possible treatments and care.

“For most women, getting older is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer so we must take action to ensure older breast cancer patients receive the same gold standard of care as younger women”.