People all over Scotland are gathering together with friends and family to enjoy the festive season. For many people living with breast cancer this precious time is more important than ever.
Unfortunately, thousands of families across the country know only too well the pain and anguish a cancer diagnosis can bring. And despite real improvements in our ability to treat cancer effectively, more people are being diagnosed with breast cancer in Scotland every year.
This year, two very effective but high-cost medicines used to treat secondary breast cancer, Perjeta and Kadcyla, were rejected by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) as they were deemed too expensive.
This was devastating news for the hundreds of women across Scotland who now have no guarantee they can access these medicines.
Both of these drugs could offer some women with secondary breast cancer the one gift they will treasure the most at this time of year – extra quality time with those they love.
It should not be impossible to make effective medicines available on the NHS when needed.
In November we announced the intended merger of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Campaign to combine our efforts to put an end to breast cancer.
Together we share a determination to improve treatments for women with secondary breast cancer and ultimately to stop people dying from the disease.
Women who are living with breast cancer should not have to think about making memories this Christmas.
The combined efforts of our charities in the future will mean more Christmases together for more families.
And those efforts are dependent on the thousands of supporters across Scotland and the UK who raise every penny we spend on research – more than £2.6 million of which is currently spent in Scotland.
Please continue to help us keep families together for longer.
Director for Scotland
Breakthrough Breast Cancer