Patrick Grady, MP for Glasgow North, demonstrated his support for women and men living with breast cancer this October by attending the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer's (APPGBC) Reception at the House of Commons.
More people are developing breast cancer than ever before – with 50,000 women and around 350 men diagnosed every year in the UK – and around 11,500 patients lose their lives to the disease each year.
Attended by more than 100 representatives from the breast cancer community, including 45 MPs, the APPGBC reception was held in support of October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to keep the issues that matter most to breast cancer patients high on the parliamentary agenda.
With MPs, Peers, civil servants, health professionals, patients and charity representatives in attendance, the APPGBC announced the launch of a new parliamentary inquiry into geographical inequalities in breast cancer services across England.
Currently, while breast cancer patients should receive the same high level of treatment across England, unfortunately this is often not the case. Many patients receive varying levels of care depending on where in the country they live, with inequalities throughout the patient pathway, from early diagnosis through to treatment and survival.
Led by co-chairs Sharon Hodgson MP, Craig Tracey MP and Dr Philippa Whitford MP, as well as vice chairs Jo Churchill MP and Baroness Massey of Darwen, the inquiry will seek to establish the extent of these geographic variations, explore their impact on patients and ultimately make recommendations to reduce inequalities.
Although the inquiry will focus on breast cancer services and care in England, the APPGBC is keen to learn from examples of good practice in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and is encouraging people from the devolved nations to respond to the call for written evidence.