Cancerkin’s News Update…..
Cancerkin would like to thank all those who have been helping out this week. Your support is invaluable to us and we very much appreciate you giving up your time. We will continue to need help over the next few weeks folding letter and stuffing envelopes. If you have some spare time and would like to help out, please do get in touch. As ever, lots of tea and biscuits will be provided. Please contact Laura on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Item for sale – Gold Plated Cutlery Canteen
We have received a generous donation of a 44 piece Viner’s gold plated cutlery canteen to sell as part of our fundraising efforts. The canteen is brand new and still in its wrapping. The item is for sale at £150 or nearest offer. Funds raised through the sale of the item will contribute to our programme of support for young women with breast cancer, which provides groups, talks and activities tailored specifically to patients under 45.
To view pictures of the canteen, please visit our website here. If you or someone you know would be interested in the item, please contact Laura on 0207 830 2323 or email@example.com.
In the News…..
Breast screening debate continues
The ongoing debate about the pros and cons of breast screening has once again been brought to the forefront by a controversial book which claims screening is not justified. The book’s author Peter Gøtzsche, director of the independent Nordic Cochrane Collaboration, claims that the harm done to women by breast cancer screening through unnecessary diagnosis and over treatment outweighs the small number of lives saved by programmes such as the NHS’s in the UK.
Mr Gøtzsche has spent over 10 years investigating and analysing data from the trials of breast screening that were run before countries such as the UK introduced their national programmes. He maintains that the results do not support mass screening as a preventive measure and claims screening saves one life for every 2,000 women who go for a mammogram but that it harms 10 others though over diagnosis and treatment for cancerous cells that would not have progressed or would have gone away on their own.
In the UK, women aged between 50 and 70 are invited by the NHS to have a mammogram every three years. Debate over the NHS’s programme began in July 2011, when research published by the Nordic Cochrane Collaboration suggested that there was no difference in breast cancer death rates between countries who had and who did not have national screening programmes. The NHS has consistently disputed these claims. Professor Julietta Patnick, director of the NHS cancer screening programmes, said in 2011: “We can’t comment on screening programmes in other countries but here in England we do know that the best evidence available shows that women aged 50-69 who are regularly screened are less likely to die from breast cancer” She cited World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that show screening reduces mortality by 35%. The controversy led UK cancer tsar Professor Sir Mike Richards to call for an independent review of the data in October. Now underway, the review’s findings will inform future decisions on screening in the UK.
To read more on this topic, you can click here.
Statins and breast cancer risk
A new study at Columbia University in the US has found that statins, a group of drugs widely used to reduce the risk of heart disease, could possibly be used in the future to treat women with breast cancer carrying a particular gene mutation. Writing in the journal Cell, the study authors say the research is at a much too early stage to give definitive conclusions but that the results show potential and warrant further investigation through clinical trials.
The study focussed on the gene P53, which usually works to suppress cancer cells. When the gene mutates, its function changes and it begins to promote cancer growth. The faulty p53 gene is found in more than half of all cancers. Laboratory studies at Colombia University treated breast cancer cells containing the mutation with statins and found that the growth of cells was slowed or that the cells died.
Carol Prives, professor of biology at Columbia University, said of the results: “The data raises the possibility that we might identify subsets of patients whose tumors may respond to statins. Of course we can’t make any definitive conclusions until we know more. There are great implications, but nothing clinical yet.” Dr Caitlin Palframan from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “We’re excited that existing drugs, like statins, are showing potential in the fight against breast cancer.”
To read more about the study, please click here. If you are interested in finding out a separate study published in 2011, which examined the potential of statins to lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who had already had the disease, please click here.