Michael Matheson Launches Cancer Support Services

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson today (Monday 29 September) launched three vital support services in Forth Valley for people diagnosed with breast cancer.

Run by leading support charity Breast Cancer Care Scotland in partnership with NHS Forth Valley, the new services will increase the support available to women diagnosed with both primary and secondary breast cancer throughout the region.

The three specialist initiatives will launch in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They are each designed to provide support and information for those recently diagnosed, people moving forward after breast cancer treatment, and those living with secondary (incurable) breast cancer.

When you’re facing breast cancer, talking to someone who’s been there about worries, concerns or questions can really help. The face to face services Moving Forward and Living with Secondary Breast Cancer and telephone service Someone Like Me will now mean that even more people in Forth Valley will be able to access tailored support when they need it, whatever their personal experience.

Mr Matheson MSP met with Breast Cancer Care and NHS Forth Valley staff as well as trained volunteers who will help to run the services. He said:

“I am delighted to support the launch of Breast Cancer Care’s new free support services here in my constituency for people with both primary and secondary breast cancer. These fantastic services will provide essential emotional support for those dealing with the devastating effects of a diagnosis and the chance to talk openly with others who have had similar experiences.”

Each service is run by specially trained volunteers. Anne Clements from Falkirk has been a Breast Cancer Care volunteer for over 10 years. She said:

“Receiving a diagnosis of breast cancer was devastating. Facing all the treatment that followed was such a challenge and I had a lot of questions. As I slowly started to move forward after breast cancer I wanted to be able to help other women in my area who were in a similar situation, so I started volunteering for Breast Cancer Care’s Someone Like Me service. It’s a wonderful opportunity to support others when they have worries or concerns and need to talk. I’m happy to be using my experience of breast cancer for something positive.”

Nicolas White, Head of Breast Cancer Care Scotland, added:

“It’s wonderful to launch a partnership with NHS Forth Valley to help ensure that women throughout the area are accessing valuable support. Our primary and secondary support services allow people to meet and speak to others who have also had breast cancer and understand how they may be feeling, which can be a great source of information and support. Our partnership with NHS Forth Valley also provides attendees with regular opportunities to access specialist information on relevant topics.”

Sandra Campbell, Macmillan Nurse Consultant for Cancer & Palliative Care, NHS Forth Valley, said:

“We are delighted to be working with Breast Cancer Care Scotland. A diagnosis of cancer can be devastating for many people but with the right support we can help make sure that patients and those close to them are supported every step of the way.

“These new services will complement our existing support services and provide additional access to practical, emotional and social support to women diagnosed with breast cancer throughout Forth Valley.”

For more information about all of Breast Cancer Care’s free services, go to www.breastcancercare.org.uk/services.