The report outlines new and urgent recommendations to combat the issues surrounding inequality in treatment, services and support available to older breast cancer patients.
The report's recommendations are being backed by the UK's leading breast cancer charities - Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign - with support from broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.
Some of the main recommendations outlined in the report are:
- Improvement of breast awareness in older women to aid early diagnosis.
- Further extension of the current breast cancer screening age extension trial, up to the age of 79.
- Development of an evidence-based tool to ensure older breast cancer patients are not judged by their age but by their individual fitness for treatment.
- Acknowledgement and consideration of the additional needs of older breast cancer patients at the time of diagnosis to ensure that the best-tailored support system is provided.
It is deeply concerning that older breast cancer patients are being denied access to full treatment and support options purely as a result of their age. By learning from those at the heart of the issue we have gained a clear picture of these barriers and what must be done to eradicate them.