It has been estimated that there are 36,000 women living with secondary breast cancer in the UK. Many feel isolated and unsupported, their information needs unmet and unaware of available support services such as palliative care or support groups that could help to improve their quality of life.
To try to address these needs, a monthly support day was established in 2014 by the national UK breast cancer charity Breast Cancer Haven (BCH) at their Yorkshire centre. The support day provides an opportunity for personal introductions and discussion with other people with secondary breast cancer, to obtain information about breast cancer-related topics of their choice, to eat a healthy lunch and to experience a visualisation/relaxation session. To evaluate how helpful this support day was to its participants, they were asked to complete a feedback form at the end of the day. A total of 171 forms were completed from 26 support days during the period February 2014–July 2018.
Participants stated that they found the support day helpful, relaxing, informative, supportive and enjoyable. All except two felt it met their needs and expectations and the majority found the length of the day just right. The personal introduction and discussion session were most frequently cited as the most useful part of the day, with the majority of participants (N = 144, 96.7%) rating it as very or moderately helpful.
These findings show that the BCH support day, developed to address the needs of people with secondary breast cancer, is a model of survivorship care that can have a positive impact on their lives.