Significant medical advances have contributed to breast cancer survival in the UK doubling in the last 40 years.1 In addition, public awareness and commitment across the country in providing research funding supports many women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.
Despite this, breast cancer remains the most common cancer in the UK, with around 55,000 women diagnosed each year... that’s 150 women every day.2 Nearly a third of women diagnosed with earlier stages of breast cancer will eventually develop advanced disease, which is responsible for 90% of all cancer-related deaths.3,4
Advanced breast cancer (ABC) is when the disease has recurred and/or spread from the breast to other parts of the body such as the lymph nodes, bone, lungs or brain.5 This can also be described as secondary or metastatic breast cancer.6
Research has shown that women with ABC often feel isolated from those involved in the fight against early breast cancer and 67% feel like no one understands what they are going through.7,8
How is Novartis supporting women with ABC?
At Novartis, we recognise patient care is more than offering a treatment. It’s about extending and improving quality of life. For this reason, we call on our 30-year heritage in breast cancer to contribute to the progress of how women living with this disease are supported.
Some of our work in ABC includes:
My Time Our Time: Supporting advanced breast cancer awareness, the My Time Our Time campaign aims to draw focus to the everyday reality for women living with ABC, and bring to life the importance of their time, to help them feel valued and understood. For more information about My Time Our Time, including Novartis’ collaboration with breast cancer nurses across the UK click here.
Watch this inspiring film to hear from Claire Myerson who shares a glimpse into her life of living with ABC and her new perspective on the concept of time.
What does time mean to you? What do you value in your life? Share your thoughts on Twitter using #MyTimeOurTime
SymTrac™ Lantern app: We developed the free SymTrac™ Lantern app, which supports people affected by breast cancer by allowing them to track their symptoms and the impact on their life over time. For more information about our app or to download, please click here
The Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge: Novartis is proud to support The Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge, a programme to address key issues that affect the quality of care for secondary breast cancer patients in the UK.
The UK’s two leading breast cancer charities, Breast Cancer Now and Breast Cancer Care, developed the innovative patient engagement programme, which has three key aims:
give people with secondary breast cancer a voice in the delivery of care and support in the hospital at which they receive their cancer care
identify, plan for and implement realistic improvements that will result in a better patient experience
develop a clearer, evidence-based, understanding of secondary breast cancer patients’ priorities
The Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge project supports NHS hospitals by harnessing the power of patient insight and data collection to help more effectively meet the needs of secondary breast cancer patients in the UK.
Novartis shares the NHS goal of improving treatment pathways, services and care for cancer patients. We firmly believe that greater collaboration can support the NHS in meeting the healthcare challenges of the 21st century.
By exploring how secondary breast cancer patients are supported throughout their treatment journey, The Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge helps NHS hospitals identify ways to enhance patients’ experiences.
Novartis is proud to support The Secondary Breast Cancer Pledge and of our other collaborations with the NHS and patient groups, which are vital for improving outcomes for cancer patients.
How else are we supporting women living with ABC?
Collaborations with patient groups Collaborating with patient groups helps us better understand the needs of women living with ABC and how we can help deliver improved care. For more information on our work with patient groups, click here.
Collaborations with the NHS We work in collaboration with the NHS to improve breast cancer services and care for people living with breast cancer. We call these Joint Working Projects and in March 2018 we launched a project with the Christie NHS Foundation Trust to address care pathway inconsistencies in breast cancer. The project includes a partnership with IQVIA, a leading global provider of information and innovative technology solutions, to analyse current breast cancer pathways and identify opportunities to enhance care. The project will also evaluate patient journeys by enabling patients to record their experiences of treatment pathways through the use of innovative technology provided by the app, uMotif. It is anticipated that findings from the project will lead to improvements in the timeliness of treatment interventions for patients, and provide clarity on where to focus resource efforts, subsequently helping to address any variation in access to treatment. To find out more about our joint working projects please click here.
Investing in clinical trials Over 2,500 UK breast cancer patients over the past two decades have been involved in 37 Novartis clinical trials across 186 hospitals9.
National standard of care reports We are contributing to the advancement of patient care by supporting the development of State of the Nation reports with key breast cancer charities, which outline the current standard of care and possible areas for improvement7.
Patient access to licensed medicines We are working closely with the NHS and policy makers to ensure appropriate patients can access our licensed medicines.
Medical education We are helping support healthcare professionals to optimise the management of advanced breast cancer with ongoing medical education activities, including running regular speaker meetings and nurse training meetings around the country.
Results of the 2014 Realities of living with ABC survey commissioned by Novartis Oncology in the UK with 60 respondents living with advanced breast cancer distributed by Breast Cancer Care.
Results of The Count Us, Know Us, Join Us survey 2013, commissioned by Novartis Oncology in 12 countries with nearly 1 300 total respondents living with advanced breast cancer including 79 in the UK. Conducted by Harris Interactive.