NHS England will fund a national audit of metastatic breast cancer - a decision which has been welcomed by West Lancs MP Rosie Cooper.
The audit will provide the NHS with up-to-date figures on the number of people in England with secondary breast cancer.
Ms Cooper - a Commons Health Select Committee Member - has been pressing for the move, saying that women with metastatic breast cancer are only counted when they die and wanted the government to commit to ensuring the requirement to collect such data is enforced.
She said: “It is great news that NHS England are now funding this audit, but I cannot understand why was this not already being done?
“Since 2013 there has been a mandatory requirement to collect this data, but it has largely been ignored.
“It is just not acceptable to count only the dead, not the living. I have been working with charities like Breast Cancer Now to draw attention to this issue and felt it was necessary to push the Minister of State for Care on this at Health and Social Care Questions in Parliament.
“Collection of this data is vital, and I am pleased the Minister and Health Service have acted on this glaring omission.
“This audit is a good step forward to support research and the development of treatment for metastatic breast cancer and will hopefully reassure women with secondary breast cancer that they are not being forgotten or ignored.”