History

Breast Cancer Care was founded by Betty Westgate on Christmas Eve, 1973, five years after her own diagnosis of breast cancer in 1968.This is a picture of Betty Westgate, the founder of Breast Cancer Care

A celebrated breast cancer campaigner, Betty lived for more than 30 years following her diagnosis and passed away in 2000.

At the outset, the charity was called the Mastectomy Association; the name was later changed to Breast Care and Mastectomy Association of Great Britain in 1987 and again to Breast Cancer Care in 1994. 

Betty’s passion for information, education and empowerment led her to setting up the Mastectomy Association, which she ran on a voluntary basis from her home in Croydon, South London.

In 1981, the National Society for Cancer Relief (now Macmillan Cancer Relief) offered to fund the work of the Mastectomy Association so it could develop its full potential.

In 1989 we opened our first office in Scotland. This was also the year of our first fashion show involving women with breast cancer as models, which continues annually to this day. Cherie Booth QC became a Patron of Breast Cancer Care in 1997, followed by Geri Halliwell in 2000.

In 2001, Breast Cancer Care opened its first office in the North of England with a fourth regional office opened in Wales in 2003.

You can read more about Betty Westgate on the Guardian website, which still hosts her obituary.

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