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Breast cancer patients "ignored"

A number of British women with advanced metastatic breast cancer say they feel ignored and that the condition does not get enough public attention.

According to the Bridge survey, 60% believed metastatic breast cancer (MBC) received too little public attention and half said they were too scared to talk openly about their experience of the condition.

The survey, which was commissioned by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, questioned 950 women living with metastatic breast cancer in nine countries. The results show a taboo still surrounds the advanced cancer, which spreads around the body.

Two-thirds of the British participants said they wanted to see more public awareness of MBC and more media attention on people and public figures with the disease.

Figures show 92% of UK patients thought the disease had a negative impact on most part of their lives, more than the 67% worldwide figure.

Professor Lesley Fallowfield, from Cancer Research UK and the University of Sussex, a member of the Bridge steering committee, said: "In many countries, the public face of breast cancer has largely been focused on early stage disease, which has led to a deficiency of resources and attention for those who develop metastatic breast cancer."

Copyright © Press Association 2009

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