Mum’s plea for cancer surgery

Polly, Breea and Alfie
Polly, Breea and Alfie

A mother of two young children has been denied preventative cancer treatment on the NHS.

Polly Simpson, 36, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 while she was pregnant with her youngest child, Alfie.

She had a mastectomy to have the breast removed and then received chemotherapy.

The single mum now wants to have her other breast removed to reduce her chances of the disease returning so that she can be around to see three-year-old Breea and nine-month-old Alfie grow up.

But the NHS has refused to pay for the surgery.

Polly, of Owlswood in Sandy, said: “They have refused the treatment because I’m not a gene carrier. If I was a gene carrier I’d stand an 80 per cent chance of the cancer coming back.

“I’m a mother of two and I don’t want that worry. I want it off because it could come back.”

Polly said she has met other women living in the Cambridge area and the NHS has paid for them to have both breasts removed even though they are not gene carriers – but as a Bedfordshire resident she does not get the funding.

She added: “I think we are talking about £10,000 for the operation at least. If push comes to shove and they say no definitely then that will be the route I will have to go down but I shouldn’t have to.

“It’s a mental torture for me having it still on my body.”

She cannot fault Bedford Hospital though, she said, as staff said they were happy to do the operation – but they were unable to get the funding.

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group said:“In the absence of confirmed genetic risk and in accordance with NICE guidelines, Bedfordshire CCG does not fund procedures, such as breast surgery, that themselves carry additional risk.

“While we cannot comment on individual cases, patients can ask their GP or hospital consultant to appeal any individual funding decisions on their behalf.”

Polly’s friend Keith Willison of Potton is trying to raise funds for the operation.

He said: “Since having her operation Polly has fought to have the remaining breast removed.

“At the moment she is concerned about being around to bring up her children and she believes that this radical move is the only way to prevent the cancer recurring.”

Keith has set up a fundraising page at