A woman from North Yorkshire says she had to find her own way 'through the dark days' after being diagnosed with incurable breast cancer.
It comes as a new report reveals women with incurable breast cancer are receiving poor care due to a lack of specialist nurses.
A study for Breast Cancer Care found that just a fifth of NHS organisations have one or more clinical nurse specialists dedicated to women whose cancer has come back and spread.
Patient Laura Ashurst, 49, from North Yorkshire, has had incurable advanced cancer for a decade.
Advanced cancer occurs when breast cancer cells spread from the breast to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs and brain.
It is incurable but some women can live for several years with treatment.
There are an estimated 36,000 people living with this type of secondary breast cancer in the UK and each year around 11,600 die from the disease.
It has been mandatory since 2013 for NHS trusts to collect data on how many women have advanced breast cancer, but only a third do so.
- The new study of NHS hospitals and health boards across England, Scotland and Wales, found that 76% agree there is not enough specialist nursing care for people with incurable breast cancer.
- Some 95% of women first diagnosed with breast cancer are given access to a named clinical nurse specialist.
- But only 21% of NHS organisations had a specialist nurse dedicated to those whose cancer has advanced and is incurable.
- A further 33% had a nurse who looked after patients both with incurable cancer and those who were newly-diagnosed.
- Some 40% had nurses whose main job involved newly-diagnosed patients but who also did some work with patients who had advanced cancer.
- Overall, 47% of trusts said their nurses spent less than a quarter of their time with people who had incurable breast cancer.
Samia al Qadhi, chief executive of Breast Cancer Care, said:
A spokesperson for the NHS said: