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Concerns raised over breast cancer care

18 July 2016 07:50

Some breast cancer patients are being failed, according to a study

Some breast cancer patients are being failed, according to a study

Women whose breast cancer returns may be getting "second-rate care", a major new report warns.

Author Breast Cancer Care looked at 840 patients who were finally informed that they had an incurable, well-progressed form of breast cancer.

The charity says the system is failing women when they feel signs that their cancer is coming back.

But it also highlights a lack of awareness among women themselves.

Breast Cancer Care says both findings are "extremely worrying".

One in five women claim they present their symptoms to family doctors only to get treated for anot her illness, the study shows.

Others claim they have undergone months of painkillers or physiotherapy while their returning cancer remained undetected, not finding out until they were in A&E.

Holidays without hassle

Having breast cancer need not mean the end of holidays abroad, and these can be achieved stress-free through breast cancer-related travel insurance.

This cover protects patients if they need access to round-the-clock emergency medical assistance.

It will also pay up if travellers need replacement medication or have to return back to the UK for treatment.

Key stats

• Around one in 12 (8%) of respondents were told of their returning breast cancer in A&E

• One in five say they did not see a doctor at a hospital for eight weeks, despite suspecting that not everything was right

• Over three in 10 (31%) felt that healthcare professionals were not listening to their fears that they might have breast cancer

'Low awareness'

The report also finds a lack of awareness surrounding advanced breast cancer in the patients themselves, as the following stats indicate:

• Around one in 12 (8%) definitely thought they had breast cancer

• Some 64% thought they did not have incurable cancer

• 58% were incapable of spotting breast cancer's tell-tale signs

What the expert says

Breast Cancer Care chief executive Samia al Qadhi says the report's conclusions are "extremely worrying".

She says it reveals just how inadequate the level of care is for advanced breast cancer patients.