Secondary. Not second rate.

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Claire standing at her allotment holding a board saying \"Can I be certain of your support\"

When time is uncertain, women with secondary breast cancer need to be certain of your support. 

There are so many uncertainties for women who have incurable secondary breast cancer, like Claire.

They don’t know how many birthdays, celebrations or anniversaries they have left. They wonder whether they’ll be able to go on another holiday. Whether they’ll see many more of their children or grandchildren’s school plays. When their drugs will stop working. 

There are around 36,000 women in the UK living with secondary breast cancer right now. And we know that far too many of them are not getting the care and support they need to live well with the disease for as long as possible.

This is why we're campaigning for change – to make sure that women with secondary breast cancer no longer get second-rate care. These women already face so much uncertainty, we want to make sure that getting care and support is something they can be certain about.

We need your help to make this happen.

Act today and join our Campaigns Network.

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We want to make sure that women like Vicki, Dawn and Claire can be certain they will get the care and support that they need.

Vicki holding her young daughter

'The worst feeling is that your child will need you and you won’t be there.' Vicki, 34

Dawn staring at the camera

'I was just in absolute despair. Is it really incurable? My God, I’m gonna die.' Dawn, 54

Claire looking downwards

'You’re told you might have some time but you’re not told how much time.' Claire, 43





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Get the facts

Secondary (metastatic) breast cancer is when breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs or brainAround 11, 600 women die from secondary breast cancer each year. It can be treated and people can live with the disease for a number of years, but it is incurable.

We know that far too many women with secondary breast cancer aren't getting adequate care and support when they need it the most. 

We recently discovered some Hospital Trusts aren't collecting consistent and robust data, which makes it more difficult for them to plan services. We know that many women feel uncertain about the signs and symptoms of secondary breast cancer. And when diagnosed with the incurable disease, their care is often inadequate compared to people with primary breast cancer.

Our recent survey taken by people with secondary breast cancer found: 

  • 31% felt that healthcare professionals didn’t take their concerns about having secondary breast cancer seriously
  • 8% of those with a previous diagnosis of primary breast cancer were diagnosed in A&E
  • almost half of respondents (49%) were not advised to bring someone with them when they were diagnosed
  • one in five didn’t know that secondary breast cancer was life-limiting.

Download our Secondary. Not second rate report. Our report marks the first in a series looking at what it's like to live with secondary breast cancer in England, Scotland and Wales today.

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Get support

An orange breast cancer care helpline iconThis campaign is all about the care and support people with secondary breast cancer need to live well. 

If you're looking for support like this, we're here to help.  We can help you connect with others who have secondary breast cancer, online or face to face so you feel more supported and less alone. 

When time is uncertain, you can be certain of us. Get support


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