On the pulse – 26th June 2012

Cancerkin’s News Update…

A walk in the park…

On Sunday 17 June, hundreds of Cancerkin supporters walked 10k around Hyde Park in support of those with breast cancer and to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. It was a special day of smiles, laughter and glorious sunshine – we could not have asked for better weather. Visit our website to see for yourself how much fun was had and to spot your photo. We would like to thank all our walkers (pets included!), our special guest Tom Conti, our sponsors – GAM, Sainsburys  and Ocean Spray – and our fantastic team of volunteers who made the day such a success.

We have been overwhelmed with positive feedback about the walk and are so pleased to hear so many people enjoyed themselves. If you have any comments you would like to share, then please do get in contact with Laura on l.smith@cancerkin.org.uk.

If you successfully completed the walk, you will now be busy collecting up your sponsorship money. To be in with a chance of winning luxury products generously donated by our sponsor perfumery Floris, your sponsorship money must be at the Cancerkin Centre by Friday 17th August. On this day, we will count up how much has been raised in total and we will announce our top three fundraisers. Please ensure that (1) you do not send cash in the post, (2) cheques are made payable to Cancerkin and (3) your envelope is clearly marked for the Hyde Park Walk. If you have any questions, contact Laura on the email address above.

Cancerkin at Hampstead Theatre on 10 October 2012

We are thrilled to be hosting a charity performance of The Judas Kiss staring Rupert Everett at the Hampstead Theatre on Wednesday 10 October 2012 in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to celebrate Cancerkin’s 25th Anniversary.

The Judas Kiss depicts the life of Oscar Wilde, who will be played by renowned actor Rupert Everett. It describes two pivotal moments in Wilde’s life that lead him on a path to destruction: the day Wilde decides to stay in England and face imprisonment, and the night, after his release two years later, when the lover for whom he risked everything betrays him. With a quiet but burning sense of outrage, author David Hare presents the consequences of taking an uncompromisingly moral position in a world defined by fear, expedience and conformity. Directed by Neil Armfield and featuring a sparkling cast, the production is not to be missed.

Tickets will go on sale at the beginning of July. You will receive your invitation and reservation form in the post over the next few weeks or you can contact Laura on l.smith@cancerkin.org.uk to make a booking. Given the speed at which seats sold out last year for the performance of ‘The Last of the Duchess,’ we advise that you reserve early to avoid disappointment and to receive a special discount.

Volunteers needed

We will need volunteers over the next few weeks to help fold letters and stuff envelopes for our upcoming event. If you would like to help out, we would love to hear from you. Tea and biscuits will of course be provided. Please contact Laura or Alice on info@cancerkin.org.uk.

In the news…

More support for women with breast cancer recurrence

The results of the first UK study into the number of breast cancer patients who develop the disease for a second time has prompted calls for the NHS to do more to help women with a recurrence. The study, conducted by researchers at St James’s Institute of Oncology in Leeds, has found that over one in five breast cancer patients will see their cancer return within ten years.

Researchers looked at 1,000 consecutive patients diagnosed with breast cancer in Leeds between January 1999 and March 2002. They monitored their health over a period of ten years after their first diagnosis. Excluding 54 patients who could not be followed up, 214 patients, or 22.6 percent, developed recurrent disease. Preliminary results show that, of these patients, 51 percent lived for over three years disease-free before their recurrence and on average survived for at least one year after their recurrence, with five percent living for at least ten years after.

Jane Maher, Macmillan’s chief medical officer, said of the results: “Far too many [patients with recurrent breast cancer] are given little practical or emotional support, the assumption being that they know what to expect from the first time they were treated. The NHS is focusing a lot of attention on people who don’t have problems and not enough on people who do. Women who have recurrent disease don’t get the same support and care as people who have had a primary diagnosis of breast cancer.”

In response to the study, Cancer Research UK warned that Macmillan’s figures were ‘crude’. Prof Peter Johnson, of Cancer Research UK, said: “The chance of cancer coming back for any particular woman is influenced by several factors such as whether they have passed the menopause, the size and grade of the tumour, whether it has spread to lymph nodes and whether it has hormone receptors, so crude figures for large numbers are not helpful to individual women. In fact, for many women the chance of cancer coming back is much lower than one in five.”

Dr Rachel Greig, Senior Policy Officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer says: “We welcome this study as a useful first step towards knowing how many breast cancer patients might experience a recurrence of their disease. It is vital to know how many patients’ breast cancer are likely to return to allow the NHS to better plan and provide for their needs. We may need further studies from different parts of the country before we can accurately say what the true rate of breast cancer recurrence is nationally.”

To read more, you can read the Guardian’s take on the study or visit Macmillan’s website.

Laura Smith

On the pulse – 14 June 2012

Cancerkin’s News Update…

See you on Sunday!

After months of planning and preparation, Cancerkin’s 10k walk around Hyde Park is finally here! We have been taking last minute entries all week and now the Cancerkin team can’t wait to see all our supporters down in the Park. The latest weather forecast indicates that we should escape the rain, but any showers will not hold us back on this special celebratory walk!

You are invited to arrive in your Cancerkin T-shirt (wet weather gear is advisable just in case!) at the Hyde Park Bandstand from 9am onwards, where you can collect a map, water, juice and fruit, and can pin your sign stating who your walk is dedicated to on your back if you wish. Once you have collected your refreshments, donated by our generous sponsors Ocean Spray and Sainsbury’s, our special guest, actor and Cancerkin patron Tom Conti, will open the walk and cut the starting tape when we set off at 10.30am.

If you have not yet registered, you can still come along on the day and join the walk. We would love to see you there! Entry is £12 or free for under 16s, so why not bring the family along for a good fun day out?

If you have any questions, please contact Laura on l.smith@cancerkin.org.uk. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Change of Date – Cancerkin at Hampstead Theatre on 10 October 2012

As announced last week, Cancerkin will be returning to the Hampstead Theatre in October to hold a charity night in aid of breast cancer awareness month. Cancerkin supporters are invited to a performance of ‘The Judas Kiss’, a play about the life of Oscar Wilde starring Rupert Everett, on Wednesday 10th October 2012 (not Monday 8th as originally advertised).

Tickets will go on sale at the end of June and can be purchased directly from Cancerkin. The exact sale date will be announced here. You will receive your invitation and reservation form in the post over the next few weeks or you can contact Laura on l.smith@cancerkin.org.uk to make a booking. Given the speed at which seats sold out last year for the performance of ‘The Last of the Duchess,’ we advise that you reserve early to avoid disappointment and to receive a special discount.

In the news…

New test could help avoid chemotherapy

The NHS is considering the introduction of a new cost-effective test that can determine whether a breast cancer patient is at a low enough risk of recurrence to escape chemotherapy. Research recently published in the British Journal of Cancer suggests that almost half of patients identified by existing tests as at an intermediate risk of recurrence could be reclassified as at low risk by the new test, called IHC4. The test is for patients with oestrogen receptor positive (ER positive) breast cancer, the most common form of the disease, which totals around 36,000 cases each year. It is hoped introduction of the test will mean more patients can safely avoid chemotherapy and its toxic side effects.

Researchers at the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and clinicians at The Royal Marsden Hospital looked at 101 patients with ER positive breast cancer. They compared results taken using two current standard diagnostic tools, AoL (Adjuvant Online) and NPI (Nottingham Prognostic Index), with the new IHC4 test. They found 15 of 26 patients classified as intermediate risk by AoL would have been reclassified as low risk using IHC4. Twenty-four of 59 patients classified as intermediate risk by NPI would have been downgraded to low risk using IHC4. Around 13 patients using this second test were also reclassified as high risk.

Professor Mitch Dowsett, from the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Research Centre at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a simple, cost-effective test. This new research suggests many additional patients could be classified as at low risk, and therefore avoid chemotherapy and its toxic side effects. This could make a big difference to those patients, and also save the NHS money. It is currently being assessed by NICE for widespread use through the NHS. We need to extend this research with clinical and laboratory colleagues at other centres, but if the results continue to be positive then this test could be of considerable value to patients.”

To read more, please click here.

Laura Smith

On the pulse – 8 June 2012

Cancerkin’s News Update…

One week to go!

The Hyde Park Walk is just around the corner and will be taking place next Sunday, 17 June. We can’t wait to see our supporters, volunteers and special guest – actor Tom Conti – for what is set to be a great fun day out. If you have not entered the walk yet, there is still time. Click here to register now!  Our generous and loyal sponsors Ocean Spray are providing cranberry juices to quench our walkers’ thirst on their way around the park. Water and fruit will also be provided.

For those who have already entered, we hope your efforts to drum up sponsorship are going well. If you want to boost your fundraising, then why not set up a JustGiving page? It’s free and easy to create a page and you can then send your personalised link round to all your friends, family and colleagues. Or you can do it the good old fashioned way and use our sponsorship forms, which can be printed out from our website. Some of our supporters have been very creative in their fundraising drives this year and have organised pub quizzes and fundraising parties and visited local shops, garages and businesses. Why not organise something similar? Contact Laura on l.smith@cancerkin.org.uk if you would like to discuss an idea.

Remember, there will be prizes for the three walkers who raise the most, as donated by perfumery to the Queen, Floris London.  The historic perfume house has been a longstanding supporter of Cancerkin and we are so grateful for everything they do for us. Our Hyde Park Walkers stand to receive luxury prizes fit for royalty so good luck to all our fundraisers!

Date for your diary – Cancerkin at Hampstead Theatre

We are thrilled to announce that, once again, Cancerkin will be holding an evening at the Hampstead Theatre in honour of breast cancer awareness month this October. On 8th October 2012, Cancerkin supporters are invited to a charity performance of ‘The Judas Kiss’, a play about the life of Oscar Wilde starring Rupert Everett.

Tickets will go on sale at the end of June and can be purchased directly from Cancerkin. Given the speed at which seats sold out last year for the performance of ‘The Last of the Duchess,’ we advise that you reserve early to receive a special discount and to avoid disappointment. For more information, please contact Laura on l.smith@cancerkin.org.uk.

Art Therapy with Kirsty

Art Therapist Kirsty Nicholson will be holding weekly group Art Therapy sessions here at the Cancerkin Centre. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy and can be particularly helpful for people who have difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings verbally.  No artistic skill or experience is needed. Sessions are every Thursday from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. If you would like to attend, please contact Alice on a.boyle@cancerkin.org.uk.

In the news…

Does working night shifts increase breast cancer risk?

The results of a study carried out at the Danish Cancer Society’s institute of epidemiology in Denmark have suggested that women who work night shifts over long periods of time are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers found that night shift work was associated with a 40 percent increase in risk. These results have added to a growing body of research which points to a link between the two and have prompted The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the UK to commission further research.

The World Health Organisation’ International Agency for Research on Cancer announced five years ago that working shifts that caused disruption to people’s body clocks was ‘probably’ carcinogenic.  As a result the Danish government decided to pay compensation to female claimants with breast cancer who had worked night shifts for over 20 years. The latest research from Denmark has found that women who worked night shifts at least three times a week for six years  or more were more than twice as likely to develop the disease that those who did not. They found a neutral link for those who had worked one or two nights a week.

In response, Cancer Research UK’s health information officer, Sarah Williams, said: “Scientists still can’t say for certain whether regularly working night shifts increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer and this particular study doesn’t settle that debate. Although this study found a higher risk for women working the greatest number of hours of night shifts altogether, they didn’t see a solid association if they analysed the data in other ways, for example when they looked at how many years of night shifts women had worked. The evidence so far seems to point to a probable link, but we still need more research to understand how big the risk could be and how many years it would take to appear. For the moment, there is strong evidence that women can reduce the risk of breast cancer by keeping to a healthy weight, drinking less alcohol and being physically active.”

The HSE has emphasised that the risk of working night shifts has not yet been established and has asked the cancer epidemiology unit at Oxford University to take a detailed look at how lifestyle and working patterns affect our body clocks. It is expected the complex study will be completed by 2015 and will draw on information from the Million Women Study, a national study of women over 50.

To read more, please click here.

Laura Smith