On the pulse 27 June 2013

  • Book your tickets to see Antony Sher in Hysteria at the Hampstead Theatre!
  • Beacon on the Hill
  • NICE releases new guidance on familial breast cancer

Book your tickets to see Antony Sher in Hysteria at the Hampstead Theatre!
We are very excited to announce Cancerkin will be returning to the Hampstead Theatre on Monday 7th October 2013 to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Formal invitations will be sent out in the next few weeks, but we wanted to give our supporters a “save the date” message!

This year’s play is Hysteria. Set in 1938 in Hampstead, it follows Sigmund Freud (played by Antony Sher), who has fled Nazi-occupied Austria and is hoping to spend his final days in peace. However, when Salvador Dali turns up to discover a less than fully dressed woman in the closet, this peace becomes somewhat elusive.

An acknowledged Modern Classic, this hilarious farce explores the fall-out when two of the twentieth centuries most brilliant and original minds collide, while also questioning Freud’s radical revision of his theories of Hysteria.

Tickets can be purchased directly from Cancerkin. You will receive your invitation and reservation form in the post over the next few weeks or (if you just can’t wait!) you can contact Holly on h.lovering@cancerkin.org.uk to make a booking. Tickets will be sold at an “early bird” discount price of £45 until Friday 2st August 2013 (normal price £50), and, given the speed at which seats have sold out in previous years, we advise that you reserve early to avoid disappointment.

If you have any questions please contact Holly on h.lovering@cancerkin.org.uk or call 020 7830 2323.

Beacon on the Hill
This weekend some of the Cancerkin team headed to Wiltshire to celebrate the lighting of Beacon on the Hill, the result of a collaboration between light installation artist Bruce Munro and Cancerkin.

The evening was a huge success. Around 200 guests gathered together to support the Beacon and watch it light up the countryside in Cancerkin’s colours of pink and blue. As night began to fall, the Beacon slowly emerged glowing against the sky, and knowing all the thoughts, dedications and messages behind the light made it a truly touching sight. Only around 300 of the 2,700 bottles remained “unsponsored” and the overwhelming support this project garnered was plain to see. So far, almost £8,000 has been raised for Cancerkin. Please keep an eye on our website, where photographs of the Beacon will be posted.

This project, and Cancerkin, received much publicity over the weekend, with stories on the BBC and in the Daily Mail, as well as a prominent segment on BBC Wiltshire evening news. To see further works of Bruce’s, please visit his website.

NICE releases new guidance on familial breast cancer
The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have released updated guidelines for women who are at increased risk of breast cancer due to their family history.

One of the main changes is that NICE have, for the first time, recommended the use of drugs such as tamoxifen as a risk-reducing measure. However, this recommendation is only for a specific group of postmenopausal women who are at high risk of breast cancer and have not had the disease.

NICE have also advised making genetic screening more widely available to those at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, including women who have had breast cancer or those who are likely to have a genetic mutation, but for whom a sample from a living relative is not available.

The charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer worked closely with NICE to develop these guidelines, and their Assistant Head of Policy, Dr Caitlin Palframan, said the following: “Today’s new guidelines are a game changer in the way we prevent breast cancer. Our strongest tool in the fight against breast cancer is prevention, and these new guidelines are a fantastic leap forward in the way we prevent breast cancer developing in those at highest risk.

“It is so important that people have an array of options available to them to assess and manage their own breast cancer risk. And for those at highest risk, which we must remember is a relatively small number of people in the population, it is equally vital that their options go beyond screening or surgery; through the use of preventative medicine, these new guidelines will help achieve this.

“From here the next challenge is ensuring the NHS is equipped to deliver on the promise of these recommendations; more screening, genetic testing and better preventative options for those few people at highest risk, and Breakthrough will be working to ensure that patients get the benefit of these incredibly valuable guidelines.”

Carolyn Rogers, a Clinic Nurse Specialist at Breast Cancer Care, agreed, saying: “These new guidelines are an exciting development that could help many hundreds of people with confirmed or a potential family history of breast cancer now and in the future.

“Significant changes, including the recommended preventative use of drugs like tamoxifen and raloxifene in high-risk women as an alternative to risk-reducing surgery, are an important step forward in increasing patient options and choice. Many more people in England and Wales will be able to access genetic testing and this latest guidance will help make their care and treatment more consistent.

“We are really pleased to see the recommendation for further research within this complex area, particularly to compare psychosocial outcomes in those who decide to or decide not to have risk-reducing surgery. We know from calls to our Helpline that such a decision can be extremely difficult to make.”

For more information, please see NHS Choices, Breakthrough Breast Cancer or Breast Cancer Care. The full guidelines can be read on NICE’s website.


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