Sutton’s MP, Andrew Mitchell, has met with the Sutton Coldfield Breakthrough Breast Cancer Group to discuss their concern about inconsistency in GP practices in treating signs of breast cancer and the lack of publicly available data on breast cancer.
The Group, led by Mr Mitchell’s constituent, Kathy Caldwell, had requested a meeting following the death of one of their members who had made a number of visits to her GP before being referred for assessment for metastatic breast cancer. They highlighted the importance of GPs in referring symptomatic patients, who have previously had a breast cancer diagnosis, for urgent investigation.
Following the meeting Andrew Mitchell said “As a Patron of Sutton Coldfield BreastFriends I am a great supporter of the excellent work of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I am aware that there is concern about the term “suspicious symptoms” used in the NICE guidelines and with GPs’ understanding of what symptoms may indicate metastatic disease. Metastatic breast cancer may present with a range of different symptoms – anything from back pain to headaches, which may not necessarily be reviewed as “suspicious” by GPs. I have, therefore, written to the Department of Health to ask for guidance on what is being done to ensure that GPs are aware of all the possible signs of metastatic cancer and are referring patients appropriately.”
“In addition I am also making enquiries about the lack of publicly available data on metastatic breast cancer and what proposals there might be to ensure that such data is more widely available”.