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Tickled Pink at ASDA Whitchurch

ASDA Whitchurch Tickled PinkLocal MP helps raise breast cancer awareness

Dawn Primarolo visited ASDA Whitchurch this morning to congratulate staff on their fundraising efforts for the Tickled Pink campaign.

“I was a little surprised to be greeted by somebody in a paddling pool full of pink porridge”, Dawn admitted afterwards. “But it’s through such wonderfully weird and wacky pink events and challenges that so much cash has been raised to help improve the lives of people with breast cancer”.

Entering its eleventh year, ASDA’s Tickled Pink campaign now benefits two cancer charities, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Campaign. Since 1996, the campaign has raised nearly £16m.

“It was great to see for myself how hard local people, with the support of ASDA, are working not just to raise funds, but also awareness, of the issues around breast cancer”, Dawn continued. “Our Labour Government shares this priority, and announced plans for faster, more comprehensive cancer care for patients just a few days ago”.

Experts estimate that the NHS Breast Screening Programme in England is already saving 1400 lives a year – but Labour is determined to go further. So, it was announced on Monday that proposals on cancer waiting times and improving early detection will be set out in a new Cancer Reform Strategy this autumn. These will include:

  • Extending the age range of women eligible for breast screening to ages 47 to 73 over time. The current age range is 50 to 70. An extra 200,000 women a year will now be screened;
  • A guaranteed appointment with a specialist within two weeks of referral for all patients with breast problems, not just those with suspected cancer;
  • Expansion of the 62 day referral-to-treatment guarantee. Currently only those referred as an urgent case by their GP are guaranteed treatment within 62 days, meaning those referred via screening programmes or a consultant are not included. This will allow specialists in hospitals and screening centres to ‘fast track’ patients, putting them on a level with those referred urgently by their GP.

[28 September 2007]

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