Breast Cancer Support UK and Developing Nations
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in both the developed and developing world. In the UK, more than 55,000 people are diagnosed every year. In this article, we take a look at what support you can access in the UK, how this compares to the situation in the developing world, and what Breast Cancer Support UK are doing to improve and save the lives of people in poverty stricken countries.
Support Available to UK Patients
Being diagnosed with breast cancer and undertaking treatment can be a very stressful time. Worry and uncertainty are common and you will understandably have many questions throughout your diagnosis, treatment and recovery process. Fortunately, patients living in the UK have access to a myriad of support options ranging from information and advice from various charities, local and online support groups, and financial support from the government.
Receiving treatment for, and recovering from, breast cancer may make it necessary for you to reduce the amount that you are able to work, or cause you to stop working altogether. This could cause financial pressure for you or your family. If you have breast cancer, financial support may be available from the UK government. Similarly, if someone is caring for you, they may also be entitled to financial support.
¥ If you are employed but are unable to work due to your illness, your employer is obliged to pay you Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).
¥ Even if you are not employed but become unable to work due to your illness, you may be entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance.
¥ If you are caring for a person with cancer, you may be entitled to claim a Carers Allowance.
¥ You are able to apply for an exemption certificate that entitles you to free prescriptions for all of your medication, including medication for unrelated conditions. You can apply for a certificate through your GP or cancer specialist and it is valid for five years.
Other benefits may be available to you depending on your household income and whether you have children living at home. It is advisable to find out what financial support you may be entitled to as early as possible to avoid getting into financial difficulties. You can ask the social worker at your hospital who will be able to help you with any information you need.
Breast Cancer Support Groups UK Wide
Following your diagnosis, it is natural to feel many different emotions and the experience can be overwhelming. Some people find it helpful to talk to other people who have breast cancer and are in the same situation. Thanks to the many UK based cancer charities, you can access free breast cancer support groups uk wide. From talks, courses and monthly meet-ups, you will have the opportunity to chat to people who can understand what you are going through. You may even have more than one group in your local area. As each group is different, it can be worth reaching out to a selection of them to find the one that best meets your needs.
It is possible for friends, relatives and children to access information and advice from support groups so that they are able to understand what is happening, what they can do to best support you, and how to look after themselves.
Support can also be accessed via telephone helplines and online, in the form of chat rooms or online breast cancer support forums.
Breast Cancer Support are working to improve the support given to people with breast cancer in poverty stricken countries. Through our foundation we are able to continue our life saving work.
Breast Cancer Support for Women in Developing Countries
The standard of care received by people in developing countries is, understandably, far below that which we would expect in the UK and other Westernised countries. Sadly, because of this, breast cancer is a leading cause of death and disability among women, especially young women, in low and middle-income countries . Lack of awareness hinders early detection, and the problem is compounded by the fact that adequate facilities for detection and diagnosis, as well as access to primary treatment, is scarce. It is therefore fair to say that breast cancer support in developing countries is severely lacking.
In addition to a lack of support, cultural and social taboos can lead to women reporting at more advanced stages, which invariably contributes to high mortality rates.
Studies show that in many developing countries, the incidence of breast cancer is now rising sharply due to changes in reproductive factors including later first pregnancies, lifestyle factors such as declines in physical activity, and increased life expectancy.
Each of these issues also presents an opportunity to reduce the incidence of breast cancer and to increase the survival rate. If diagnosed and treated early, breast cancer survival rates increase to more than 90%.
These opportunities guide our mission at Breast cancer support uk. We aim to fight breast cancer in developing countries across the globe through education, treatment, emotional assistance and financial support. In tackling these factors, we can focus on short term gains all the way through to changes that will need to happen over the longer term.
How You Can Help Breast Cancer Support UK Save Lives
With your kind donations, Breast Cancer Support UK is working tirelessly to improve the lives of people with breast cancer in developing countries around the world. You can make a one off donation or pledge to donate a set amount each month. Every little helps us to save lives by raising awareness of breast cancer, helping patients with surgery costs, and providing treatment to patients in poverty stricken countries.