An East Midlands MEP has started the New Year by backing two initiatives to raise awareness of breast cancer.
Conservative MEP Emma McClarkin, who lost her mother to the disease, and whose aunt recovered from it, is helping to launch a cross-party written declaration on breast cancer.
This includes highlighting a 2016 deadline for member states to provide access for all women to specialist breast units and the needs of patients with advanced, or metastatic, breast cancer.
Miss McClarkin will be talking to other MEPs to persuade them to sign the declaration when it is launched later this month at an event she is hosting on breast cancer in the European Parliament. At the event, an art installation will be unveiled to highlight the plight of patients with advanced breast cancer, who often feel isolated from society and defined by their illness.
Created by artists Tim Wainwright and John Wynne, it aims to raise awareness of advanced breast cancer as well as providing patients to share their thoughts, experiences and emotions.
Miss McClarkin said: “Having breast cancer in the family, I am more than aware of the impact of this terrible disease on patients and family. We need to do all we can to promote early detection and best treatment for those suffering from cancer, but as more and more people are living longer with advanced cancer we need to make sure we are doing all we can to help those with continued treatment and support.
“These women are hugely important to their family life and also their communities, so we must not overlook them when looking at our long-term cancer care plans.”