27 March 2015
Responding to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer’s report, published today (Thursday 26th March), which shows that older women with breast cancer are still not receiving the support they need, Dr Fran Woodard, Director of Policy at Macmillan Cancer Support, says:
“It is really worrying, but not surprising, that older women with breast cancer are still not getting the treatment, care and support they need.
“Macmillan’s research shows that too often older people don’t get treatment when they need it. This is partly because assessment methods for treatment are often inadequate so healthcare professionals are left to assess older cancer patients based on their age alone, when they should be assessing their physical and mental status.
“Another barrier to treatment is that older patients are more likely to live alone and have difficulties getting to and from hospital. We also know that when compared with younger women, older women are more likely to have the perception that they are wasting a doctor’s time, which means they can delay visiting a doctor and are therefore more likely to be diagnosed later.
“As a consequence England has some of the worst survival rates in Europe, with the survival rates for older people lagging even more drastically behind. Politicians must act now and commit in their general election manifestos to improving cancer survival rates and particularly for older people.”
For further information, please contact:
Cora Bauer, Senior Media and PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 091 2016 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
. Comparison of five-year age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed in 2005-09 compared to 1995-99. For further details see here: http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Documents/AboutUs/Newsroom/10yearsbehind.doc
. The CONCORD Working Group et al. Global surveillance of cancer survival 1995–2009: analysis of individual data for 25 676 887 patients from 279 population-based registries in 67 countries (CONCORD-2). The Lancet. Published online 26 November 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62038-9
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. Whether it’s concerns about who you can talk to, planning for the extra costs or what to do about work, at Macmillan we understand how a cancer diagnosis can take over everything.
That’s why we’re here. We provide support that helps people take back control of their lives. But right now, we can’t reach everyone who needs us. We need your help to make sure that people affected by cancer get the support they need to face the toughest fight of their life. No one should face cancer alone, and with your support no one will.
To get involved, call 0300 1000 200 today. And please remember, we’re here for you too. If you’d like support, information or just to chat, call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk