Primary Care Trust Declines Funds for Breast Cancer Helpline

With support from Princess Diana and The Independent, a cancer helpline had been formed which worked towards providing care to women who had a family history of breast cancer.

But after the NHS trusts stopped its funding, the future of the helpline is now at risk.

The National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline has been supported by cancer experts and genetics specialists, along with an ex-Secretary of State for Health. They deem that the Helpline that has a yearly expenditure of £63,000 offers non-stop services across the country.

It is reported that one in three Primary Care Trusts is reluctant to shell out £422 as a twelve-monthly cost.

Owing to high genetic risk, Wendy Watson was the first female to undertake preventive mastectomy in the UK. After her case came out in The Independent in 1994, she became famous. She is the creator and manager of The National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline. At 38, both her breasts and ovaries were removed. Her daughters did the same when they became middle aged.

Over a span of 14 years, the three women along with 500 helpers and 4,000 supporters have managed to treat 80,000 women.

Lester Barr, Chair of the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Appeal, said, “The best support for patients at genetic risk of breast cancer comes from Wendy’s helpline. She has great insight, having been through it herself, and she believes passionately in what she does”.