Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day
13 October 2017, 09:09 | Updated: 13 October 2017, 09:16
A single mum from Worthing is backing a campaign to raise awareness of the lack of support for people with incurable secondary breast cancer.
Kate Henwood, a photographer, entrepreneur and mother of one, is joining forces with charity Breast Cancer Care to call for better care for women and men with secondary breast cancer - when breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body and cannot be cured. Kate is sharing her story to mark Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Friday 13 October.
Kate, 48, was diagnosed with the disease in February 2015. She says:
"Getting the support you need is vital to help you live every day and should be there for everyone. Going to a local monthly meeting run by Breast Cancer Care specifically for people with secondary breast cancer and sharing my experiences with other women has been invaluable."
"When I first discovered the lump in my breast I knew something wasn't right. In the time between finding the lump and getting my diagnosis, I was more concerned about my son, who was just 12 at the time and how he would cope, having lost his dad to oesophageal cancer in 2012. We didn't need this to deal with too.
To receive the devastating news that not only did I have breast cancer but that it had already spread to my bones and was treatable but not curable was just a real shock.
Living with secondary breast cancer brings so much uncertainty and it's difficult to make future plans. But life is for living - I "live" every day and make every day count.
Having a circle of friends to support you is crucial - I've been blessed with some amazing friends who really have got me through some very dark times."
Gunes Kalkan, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Breast Cancer Care, says:
"Women and men with incurable secondary breast cancer and their loved ones live with unbearable uncertainty. When so much feels out of their control, one thing they should be able to count on is getting the care and support they need, when they need it.
"Yet care for people with incurable secondary breast cancer is still not good enough. Many tell us they feel isolated, forgotten and invisible. Too many face delays in diagnosis, do not have access to vital specialist nurses and are poorly informed about what support is available to them.
"This Secondary Breast Cancer Awareness Day, we want to ensure those living with this cruel disease know support is available. We are calling on the Government and the NHS to ensure that everyone living with incurable secondary breast cancer receives the care and support they need."
Act today and help ensure women and men living with incurable secondary breast cancer get the care and support they need, visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/secondary