Pulling Together the Stitches of Wellbeing

The Fight Against Breast Cancer Continues…

It’s important to remember that the mortality rates of women diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the UK, have improved significantly in the last 100 years.

Just take a look back at the figures from 1944. The Second World War was just about reaching the end, but the country was still struggling with how to diagnose and treat Breast Cancer. At that time just over 25% of all women diagnosed with the disease would survive 10 years after their diagnosis. It was essentially a death sentence, if you were lucky enough to get the diagnosis in the first place.

Flash forward to the 21st Century and significant scientific advances have been made, to the extent that just over 76% of women diagnosed survive longer than 10 years. This means that the survival rate has essentially tripled in the space of sixty years. This complete reversal in the fortunes of those who are unlucky enough to receive a diagnosis can be attributed to a few things:

Increase in awareness of the disease

Breast Cancer has not always been the much talked about disease that it is today. Indeed, only in the last 50 years has there been any real progress in terms of the awareness that it now enjoys. Those benefiting from any kind of counselling or treatment that has been supported by a Breast Cancer charity, more than likely have Betty Westgate to thank. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1968, she was a science teacher who went on to live an incredible 30 years after her initial diagnosis. The Mastectomy Association (as it was originally called), went on to become Breast Cancer Care which pioneered the education of people dealing with Breast Cancer diagnoses, as well as the doctors treating it.

The positive impact of everyday people

Thanks to this huge increase in awareness, the amount of people that take part in fund raising has risen exponentially – year on year. The increase in participation from ordinary people in the realms of fundraising is part in thanks to the good work that people like Betty Westgate have done in their lives and is partly due to the sad fact that thousands of people are effected by Breast Cancer diagnoses every year. Thankfully, there are now more ways than ever to raise money for charities like the Macmillan Cancer Trust and Breast Cancer Care – take a look around this site for some inspiration.

Better coordination of breast cancer care treatments

Lastly, the significant improvement in technology in the past century can’t be ignored. Thanks to the work accomplished by hard-working scientists, we’ve been able to develop advanced care techniques that work in tandem with each other, giving those who have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer a much better chance to beat their disease. Surgery techniques have been improving vastly over the last 50 years, alongside an improved stance on counselling and more formal education, which has led to Breast Cancer patients having a much more optimistic outlook than in the last few decades.


We’ve certainly come a long way since the early days of Breast Cancer Treatment, but we’ve still got further to go if we’re hoping to target it for good.