A Bromley woman living with a treatable but incurable cancer has spoken out about the lack of support for people with her condition.

Mandy Mahoney, 48, has metastatic cancer, a form of the disease which spreads from its site of origin to another part of the body, making it impossible to permanently cure.

Since she was diagnosed in 2011, the cancer has recurred five further times.

The mum of two said: “There's a really fine line between living with metastatic cancer and waiting to die from it.

"Cancer for me is a 24/7/365 affair. The kind of support I need now is very different to the support I needed at primary diagnosis and it needs to be specifically targeted for metastatic patients.

"In my hospital, there is only one Metastatic Breast Care Nurse who works 2.5 days per week, as opposed to her three full time colleagues for primary patients.

“The level and nature of care and support, or lack thereof, that I have received since my metastatic diagnosis has directly contributed to my reliance on outside agencies, such as Macmillan, for information and advice.”

Research by cancer support charity Macmillan recently found 136,000 people living in the UK are living with a 'chronic' form of cancer, known as treatable but not curable.

With the right support and treatment, these people should be able to live their lives as fully as possible.

However, despite hard-working professionals’ best efforts, more than three quarters (77%) of treatable but not curable patients are not getting the emotional or physical support they need with issues related to their cancer.

This is significantly higher than for people with cancer overall (68%).

Nikki Cannon, Specialist Advisor for Workforce Engagement at Macmillan Cancer Support said: “The needs of people living with treatable but not curable cancer are many and complex.

"These include physical impacts of long-term treatments like fatigue, dietary issues and pain control, alongside the very real psychological difficulties of living with the uncertainty of an incurable illness.

“People are living longer with ‘chronic’ cancer, their needs are becoming more complex and healthcare professionals need training to keep up.

"This involves advanced communications skills to handle difficult conversations and understanding of the latest treatments and management of side effects.

"However, the experts and compassionate workforce who want to provide personalised care for this group simply don’t have the capacity or resources to do so at present.”