It is a sad reflection on the prevalence of cancer that “everybody knows somebody” who has been affected by it. Fortunately, earlier detection has led to increased chances of recovery, and medical approaches to dealing with cancer are continually improving.

 This, however, has not reduced the need for additional support to be provided to those affected by breast cancer. The NHS and other medical providers often simply cannot stretch to helping people on an emotional level. This is where charities like Breast Cancer Haven provide invaluable specialised care, to complement other cancer treatments.

 A recent donation from the Metropolitan Masonic Charity (MMC) of £3,000 is enabling Breast Cancer Haven to provide this important care at its London centre, whether just after diagnosis or much further into a cancer treatment programme.

 Breast Cancer Haven works to help those suffering the physical side-effects of cancer treatment and hormone therapy as well as those affected emotionally by a diagnosis. They offer both physical and emotional support as appropriate. Physical courses include ‘touch’ therapies such as reflexology, aromatherapy and acupuncture, whilst emotional support is provided in counselling sessions comprising up to ten hours of counselling. This is complemented by a further two hours with a clinical specialist. The courses offered to each person are tailored in dependence on that person’s need at the time.

 Breast Cancer Haven recognises that emotional support can also be needed by carers, such as family members of those with breast cancer, and offers up to four hours counselling to support those in this position.

 Providing individualised treatment enables a more focussed, directed approach which allows the charity to hone in on the areas where a person most needs the help. According to Hannah Daws, a director of Breast Cancer Haven, this approach allows the charity to maximise its positive impact on those suffering as a result of breast cancer.

 Each treatment course can cost up to £1,500 to provide, and as the charity is dependent on fundraising for revenue, Ms Daws gratefully acknowledged the donation from the MMC and thanked London Masonry for its generosity.

 Finally, we should remember that whilst most of the 60,000 new diagnoses each year are women, 400 of these cases will be men. Thus in raising awareness of breast cancer, it is important to do so amongst both our female and male family members and friends.