On the pulse 28 October 2014

The link between breast cancer and physical inactivity has been further quantified through a framework established by Public Health England called Everybody Active, Every Day.

This study, which examined physical activity and health on a national level, showed that 1 in 8 women in the United Kingdom are at risk of developing breast cancer. 9,000 of these cases of breast cancer could be eliminated each year if all women were physically active.

By exercising moderately at least thirty minutes per day, a person’s risk of developing breast cancer falls by about twenty percent. This is taken into account by Everybody Active, Every Day, which advocates an approach based on creating a more active society, creating environments conducive to increased physical activity, implementing interventions to encourage activity, and educating people from all professional levels on health and exercise.

According to Tilean Clark, Senior Public Health and Information Officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, “It’s great to see the link between physical activity and breast cancer risk reduction being explained within this framework, building upon the work we’ve done together with Public Health England recently to shine a spotlight on this important message. We know that 40% of breast cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle such as being regularly active and maintaining a healthy weight, therefore we fully support the Everybody Active, Every Day approach.”

By normalizing physical activity and creating a social movement toward more healthy lifestyles, Public Health England is making strides to bring about change and reduce the risk of breast cancer and many other diseases in the future.

For more information, please see Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

On the pulse 22 October 2014

  • Patient raises over £1,000 for Cancerkin by cutting off her hair
  • Pro bono help from  Ernst and Young
  • Study may have found a new method to stop breast cancer cells growing

Patient raises over £1,000 for Cancerkin by cutting off her hair
One of our patients, Laura Lantaff, is raising money for Cancerkin by cutting off her hair. Laura is about to start chemotherapy, and decided to raise money for Cancerkin by chopping off her hair before it begins to fall out. She began collecting on the 14th October and by the 17th had already raised over £1,100 – and so everyone at Cancerkin wants to say a huge congratulations and thanks to Laura!

If you would like to donate to Laura, her JustGiving page can be found here, with her full story, which is well-worth a read.

Pro bono help from  Ernst and Young
On the 9th and 10th October, Victoria, Cancerkin’s CEO, and Holly, our Events and Development Manager, attended a Confidence with Clients workshop at Ernst and Young, with the aim of creating a publicity plan to encourage more women over the age of 60 to use Cancerkin’s services.

The meetings were very successful: the lively and enthusiastic Ernst and Young team came up with interesting ideas for attracting new patients which we will be implementing, including a greater use of videos for publicity and working with GP surgeries and other healthcare services to ensure everyone  who could  benefit from Cancerkin’s services is aware of the support we offer.

Over half the women diagnosed with breast cancer each year are over the age of 60, yet this is not represented in the proportion of older women we see at Cancerkin. Ultimately, we want to ensure our work benefits as many people as possible.

If you are reading this and you know of anyone who may be interested in our services, please do pass on our details. We welcome patients of all ages and from all locations.

Study may have found a new method to stop breast cancer cells growing
Research published in Nature Communications has discovered new proteins which breast cancer cells rely on to grow.

Scientists from the University of Newcastle looked at two proteins, Tra2β and Tra2α, which both appear in large amounts in breast cancer cells. They found that when the proteins were removed, a third protein, CHK1, could be turned off.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy work by damaging the DNA of cancer cells, causing them to die. However, some breast cancer cells are able to recover from this damage. CHK1 helps cancer cells to repair mistakes in their chromosomes, meaning that they can continue to grow and spread to other parts of the body.

While CHK1’s role in tumour growth is well-known, this is the first study to find a link between Tra2β, Tra2α and CHK1. Now this link is known, scientists can investigate whether turning off Tra2 proteins could be a viable method of helping to stop breast cancer cells dividing and growing.

Katherine Woods, Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Campaign, said: “12,000 women in the UK die of breast cancer each year, the vast majority because their cancer has spread. We urgently need to find better treatments that stop all cancer cells in their tracks, and ensure that they don’t find a way to survive beyond treatment.

“The research carried out by Professor Elliott and his team has provided us with crucial knowledge about the roles that two specific proteins can play in this process, bringing us one step closer to our goal that by 2030 we will have identified what causes different tumours to grow and progress, enabling us to select the best treatment for every patient, maximising their chances of survival.”

For more information, please see Breast Cancer Campaign

Cancerkin’s East London Programme on Woman’s Hour

Cancerkin are proud to have been featured on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour as part of their coverage of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Despite East London having one of the lowest mortality rates in the UK, there is little non-medical support in the area. Woman’s Hour visited our East London Programme to discover what we are doing to raise awareness of disease and provide support across Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. You can listen to the radio programme on the BBC Website by clicking here.