Breast Cancer Care

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Originally published in July 2003 icon

Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and living up to its role as the leading provider of breast cancer information and support across the UK.

The charity has already spent the first six months of 2003 launching new initiatives to help more people. In addition to as arranging its first one-day conference, in London on July 9th, where speakers included leading breast cancer practitioners & researchers, plus those with direct experience of the cancer, Breast Cancer Care:


Opened a new national centre in Wales;


Launched the first Lavender week (March 26 - April 2) for sister charity, The Lavender Trust for younger women with breast cancer;


Introduced Breast Cancer Care/Connect a web-based service which provides information on hospital breast clinics and breast screening units in the UK


Recently revealed the results of the survey into breast and bone health that it conducted in association with the National Osteoporosis Society.

It’s been a busy six months! And that’s not mentioning the living with breast cancer and healthy living courses, Breast Cancer Care runs, the new booklets and fact sheets they’ve introduced, the quarterly news letter available to read online at uk/news/newsletter, the telephone support groups, and the ongoing practical and emotional support given by specialist nurses and trained volunteers on the free helpline.

Open quotesHigh-profile patrons ensure that the charity grabs the headlinesClose quotes

When Betty Westgate set up the Mastectomy Association in 1973, running it on a voluntary basis from her Croydon home, she couldn’t have imagined that 30 years later it would have grown so much. When Betty was diagnosed in 1968 there was very little information or support available to her. Here’s what she was told over the telephone at the time: Doctor:"You have breast cancer. We are taking it off" Betty: "Oh my God, no!" "I’m sorry" Then the doctor rang off. The mastectomy was to take place eight days later.

It is Betty’s tireless work over the years that has helped influence a generation of healthcare professionals in their practice of communicating with people affected by breast cancer. Awarded the MBE in 1972, and now honorary President of Breast Cancer Care, Betty must be proud of the work she started.

Breast Cancer Care led the way in bringing breast cancer awareness month to the UK from the US, where the pink ribbon symbol was first adopted, and it has gone from strength to strength. High-profile patrons, Cherie Booth QC and Geri Halliwell, ensure that the charity grabs the headlines.

Whether it’s the glamorous Breast Cancer C are Fashion Show, now in its seventh year and due to be held at the London Hilton on October 9, the Great North Walk on July 13 or the daring parachute jumps and white water rapid rides organised to raise money for the charity’s coffers, there’s something for everyone.

Cherie Booth and Geri Halliwel

Every pound raised counts -£15 covers the cost of a call to the free confidential help-line, £150 provides accurate and easy-to-read information booklets for 500 women with breast cancer (last year they sent out just under 700,000 publications), £500 enables women around the UK to spend the day together exploring ways of living well and keeping healthy after breast cancer and £1,500 pays for a unique telephone support group that allows women from different parts of the country to discuss the impact of breast cancer on their lives.

For confidential medical advice and support call Breast Cancer Care’s free helpline 0808 800 6000, between 10:00 am and 5pm Monday to Friday and 10:00 am to 2pm on Saturdays (textphone 0808 800 6001) The charity has national centres In London, Scotland and Wales, and a regional office in She (field covers the north of England and the Midlands.

To find out more about fundraising events or to donate your time and/or money call 020 7384 2984 or email


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