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The University of Southampton
Macmillan Survivorship Research Group

EPaN Study

Exploring the breast cancer Experiences, Preferences and Needs of women aged 70 years and over (EPaN)


Macmillan Cancer Support funded a study to gain a better understanding of the experiences of older women with breast cancer (defined, for the purposes of this study, as aged 70 years and over), and their information and support needs and preferences.

Why does this research need to be done?

Thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the UK. Because the risk of developing the disease increases with age, more than a third of cases are diagnosed in women aged 70 years and over. Despite this, the experience of older women has been largely neglected and whilst, for example, it is known that older women are not as likely to use existing information and support opportunities as younger women, it is not known why this is so.

Through speaking with older women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, important information has been gathered relating to what their experiences are, what their preferences are and what their needs are. This has been fed back to Macmillan Cancer Support and used to inform the development of appropriate and innovative information and support opportunities to help ease the experience of living with breast cancer alongside other health conditions.


At key stages of the study's development posters have been presented at the following conferences:

  1. Breast Cancer Care (May 2008)
  2. NCRI and Involve Conferences (2008)
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