Helping patients and their families during, before and after breast cancer is the inspiration and the driving force of the “Transforming Breast Cancer Together” initiative. Patient empowerment and patient needs are at the centre of all the various activities implemented by the group. As such, the Transforming Breast Cancer Together Initiative continues to advocate for the rights and needs of patients, by maintaining breast cancer high on the EU policymaking agenda, with the ultimate objective of improving breast cancer patients’ outcomes throughout the breast cancer pathway.
Long-term survival rates after a diagnosis of breast cancer are increasing, thanks to advances in early diagnosis, more effective treatments, and quality care. However, many patients with both primary and advanced metastatic breast cancer experience significant distress at various stages of the patient journey. There is a growing need to improve the quality of life of all breast cancer patients and a growing proportion of people who have or had breast cancer. A lot more work remains to be done to ensure that patients who wish can successfully manage work, return to work, or find work during or after treatment.
Improving quality of life
Building on the European Cancer Mission objective to improve the quality of life for patients and their families, TBCT wants to highlight that having the ability to work – if they wish to – is very important for breast cancer patients and survivors as it can restore a sense of normality and wellbeing as well as contribute to financial stability and security. TBCT recognises the importance of maximising the opportunities for patients to flexibly maintain, return to, find, and thrive at work, look after their families, and contribute to society before, during, and after treatment.
Launch of the campaign Living a normal life
With the campaign ‘Living a normal life’ TBCT is raising awareness around the realities of people living with primary, advanced, or metastatic breast cancer. TBCT is working on specific recommendations on how policies can improve the quality of life of breast cancer patients and help recognise the right to find, keep, return to work and or care responsibilities. As part of this campaign, TBCT Chair and Member of European Parliament Frances Fitzgerald held an intimate conversation with breast cancer survivor Yamina Krossa about the challenges to return to work during and after cancer.