Tragedy spurs call for fair access to cancer drugs

FULL SUPPORT: Ursula Van Mann (left), with fellow breast cancer campaigners Melanie Heney and Suzanne Jones, and Fylde MP Mark Menzies
FULL SUPPORT: Ursula Van Mann (left), with fellow breast cancer campaigners Melanie Heney and Suzanne Jones, and Fylde MP Mark Menzies
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Ursula Van Mann has very good reasons for campaigning passionately about breast cancer.

The St Annes resident lost her sister 20 years ago to the disease, and almost lost her own life to it, too.

She has campaigned for years on behalf of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and is backing their latest call – to make access to drugs fairer for people with the advanced form of the disease.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer says new drugs could give thousands of women more quality time with their loved ones, but they’re not available to all due to the cost to the NHS.

Now Ursula is asking all Fylde coast residents to sign up to the charity’s online campaign – with just a few clicks of a mouse – to call for better treatment.

Ursula said: “I lost my sister to advanced breast cancer 20 years ago. She was only 33 and her death devastated our family. Since then, I’ve continued to lose friends and almost lost my own life to this disease.

“Catching breast cancer early and getting the right treatment give you a very good chance of survival.

“However, where the disease has advanced, your chances and treatment options are not so good. One thousand women a month are still dying from breast cancer.

“I am backing Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s new campaign on stopping breast cancer for good. All the new drugs for treating advanced breast cancer have been turned down for use on the NHS because they cost too much. Unless we take action, it’s hard to see how this situation will ever change.

“I’ve signed up to Breakthrough’s online campaign to help us get fairer access to drugs. We all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer, so I am asking as many people as possible to get involved. It just requires a few clicks to register your support. Just visit Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s website.

“With the help of the public, we hope to prove to the Government and the drug companies this is an issue that matters to us all.”

The campaign has already been backed by the MP for 
Fylde Mark Menzies. He said: “Ursula is a great advocate for those wanting improved treatment for breast cancer, and as a Member of Parliament I’ve had the privilege of working with her over the past four years.

“While the Cancer Drugs Fund introduced by this Government has seen £1.16bn of funding, the battle against cancer is too important for us to rest on our laurels.”

Ursula is also keen to encourage people to sign up to help raise money for breast cancer charities, like Breakthrough.

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