Cancerkin’s East London Newsletter, May 2015

A warm welcome to all our supporters! We hope this newsletter finds you well and our monthly update helps to keep you informed with the work underway at Cancerkin’s East London programme.

There is still time to register for Hampstead Heath Walk 2015                           Cancerkin’s annual walk takes place this week on Sunday 7 June 2015 and registration is still open if you haven’t already signed up. Participants can choose to walk either 5km or 10km, or there is a shorter route suitable for those who may be walking with pushchairs, or have restricted mobility. Ocean Spray has provided refreshments for all our walkers, and everyone who takes part will receive a free Cancerkin t-shirt. The walk is always a fun day for our patients, supporters and their families.

All the money raised will go directly to Cancerkin to help us to continue to provide free complementary therapies and support services across London.

To take part, simply fill out the form attached to this email and return it to h.lovering@cancerkin.org.uk or call us on 0207 820 2323.

Directions to Hampstead Heath:                                                                                          By bus: The C11, C2 and 214 all stop at stop GM (William Ellis School) on Highgate Road, where there is an entrance to the Heath. The bandstand is approximately 150m along that path.

By Tube: The nearest underground station is Kentish Town. The Highgate Road entrance is approximately 15 minutes away on foot, or 5 minutes on either the C2 or 214 bus.

By Overground: The nearest Overground station is Gospel Oak. The entrance to the Heath is to the left of the station, and the bandstand is approximately 500m along that path. The Overground is not running between Highbury and Islington and Gospel Oak on before 12.30pm on Sunday, or between Clapham Junction to Kensington Olympia all day. If you were planning on taking the Overground westbound, there are rail replacement buses from Highbury and Islington to Gospel Oak. If you were planning on taking the Overground eastbound from Clapham Junction, we recommend taking the tube to Kentish Town.

By National rail: National rail trains also stop at Kentish Town from Luton, Milton Keynes at St Albans to the north and from Wimbledon, Sutton and East Croydon to the South.

For a full network route map please click here  and for more information, please visit our website .

We look forward to seeing you there!

May Breast Awareness events                                                                                          The East London team have been working hard to raise breast awareness across the East London area.

This month we have had the opportunity to visit three organisations to promote breast health in the boroughs of Hackney, Newham and Tower Hamlets. On 6 May, we attended the Mums Wellness Celebration event hosted by the Osmani centre in Tower Hamlets, on 11 May we visited the Roma Support Group in Plaistow and on 15 May we participated in the Health and Wellbeing event at Homerton University Hospital in Hackney.

Our work at these locations was met with great enthusiasm and the feedback we received was positive. Our visits highlighted the importance of promoting breast health among minority groups, particularly for those who consider cancer to be a taboo topic.

Many thanks to Shelim Shakir from Osmani Trust, Sasha Staskova from the Roma Support Group and Madhu Agarwal from Homerton University Hospital for organising these engaging events.

If you are interested in raising breast awareness within your local organisation or community please get in contact with the East London team on jmoneke@cancerkin.org.uk or phone 0207 830 2310.

Update on Monitoring & Evaluation                                                                               The external Monitoring and Evaluation for the East London Programme, co-ordinated by Queen Mary University of London, is now entering into its second interview phase. We will be holding two patient focus group session at St. Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney and the Given-Wilson Institute in Plaistow. This will give our East London patients the opportunity to further discuss the impact of our support services on their well-being and provide valuable feedback for the programme and local organisations. Our Breast Awareness Ambassadors (past and new) will also be interviewed providing feedback which will help us expand this aspect of the programme in the near future.

We would like to say a big thank you to all of you who have participated so far and encourage those who would like to give their feedback to get in touch. To give your thoughts on how the programme is run and how you would like to see it progress, please contact the East London team on jmoneke@cancerkin.org.uk or 0207 830 2310.

 

On the pulse 29 May 2015

  • Hampstead Heath Walk 2015
  • Outcomes for those with breast cancer family history are as good as those without non-familial breast cancer

Hampstead Heath Walk 2015
Our annual walk takes place on Sunday 7th June and registration is still open if you haven’t already signed up!

Participants can chose to walk or run either 5km or 10km, or there is a shorter route suitable for those who may be walking with pushchairs, or have restricted mobility.

Ocean Spray have kindly provided refreshments  for all our walkers, and everyone who takes part will also receive a free Cancerkin t-shirt. The walk is always a fun day out – the emphasis is on our patients, supporters and their families walking and having fun together – and so, to abuse a cliché, the more really is the merrier!

All the money raised will go directly to Cancerkin to help us to continue to provide free complementary therapies and support services across London.

To take part, simply fill out the form attached to this email and return it to h.lovering@cancerkin.org.uk or call us on 0207 820 2323. For more information, please visit our website or contact me on either the email or telephone number above.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Research shows having a strong family history of breast cancer does not worsen your outcomes
A study by the British Journal of Surgery has shown that inherited genes which increase the risk of developing breast cancer do not make it more difficult to treat the disease. The research findings involved studying nearly 3000 UK breast cancer patients, all of whom had developed breast cancer before the age of 41. Around two-thirds of the participants had no family history of the disease while the remaining third did. The researchers explored how the tumours in each patient developed and how they responded to treatment. The results showed no significant difference between the two groups of women in terms of recurrence or how the cancer spread in the body.

These findings could still be applied to different breast cancer types including subtypes that could or could not be treated using hormone therapy. The lead researcher, Professor Ramsey Cutress said “Successful treatment for breast cancer is just as likely in young patients with a family history of breast cancer, as in those without a family history. Patients with a family history of breast cancer can therefore be reassured that their family history alone does not mean that their outcome will be worse”.

With a quarter of all breast cancer cases thought to be linked to hereditary factors, experts believe that there are still genes related to the disease yet to be identified and screened for. In the UK, the national guidelines say women should only be referred for genetic testing if they are thought to be at high risk, such as immediate family members developing breast cancer before the age of 40. Men are also offered genetic screening for the disease if their father, son or brother develops the disease.

Samia al Qadhi, chief executive at Breast Cancer Care, commented on the results saying, “Many younger women with breast cancer are terrified about it coming back, especially when they have seen other family members face the disease.  This crucial study now gives clear evidence confirming that, rather than a family history, it is the type and stage of the breast cancer and the treatments given which are the biggest factors influencing each person’s survival. It’s also important to remember that spotting the signs early is vital – diagnosing breast cancer as soon as possible can lead to simpler and more effective treatment”.

Checking your breasts regularly can be vital to an early diagnosis of breast cancer, which can significantly increase your chances of survival. Men are also at risk so it is important for both sexes to be vigilant.

Signs and symptoms to look for:

•    Lumping or thickening of the breast tissue

•    Constant pain of the breast or armpit

•    One breast becoming bigger in size compared to the other

•    Puckering or dimpling of the skin

•    Nipples changing size, position or becoming inverted (turned inside)

•    Nipples developing a rash, crusting or producing discharge (bodily fluid)

•    Swelling that appears under the armpit or around the collarbone

For more information please see BBC News and the British Journal of Surgery.

 

 

On the pulse 15 May 2015

 

  • Book onto next week’s Look Good Feel Better
  • New recommendations advise women with rare aggressive breast cancer should be offered less invasive surgery
  • Study shows exercising during chemotherapy reduces side effects

Book onto next week’s Look Good Feel Better
We still have a few spaces available for this month’s Look Good Feel Better Workshop, taking place on Tuesday (19 May 2015) from 2pm to 4pm. At the session, professional beauty therapists teach you how to apply your make-up, including advice on hiding some of the visible side-effects of cancer treatment. In addition, every woman who attends can take home a free make-up pack containing beauty products from well-known brands.

Only a few spaces remain, so please contact us on 0207 830 2323 or email info@cancerkin.org.uk if you would like to treat yourself to a pamper session. Please note that it is only open to those women who have not previously attended.

New guidelines recommend less invasive surgery for women with inflammatory breast cancer

Women who are affected by a rare, aggressive breast cancer subtype, known as Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) should be offered less invasive surgery according to new guidelines announced at the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symposium in Birmingham, UK. This subtype of breast cancer is known to have poor survival rates compared to more other forms of the disease, affecting 1000 of the 50,000 people diagnosed with breast cancer annually.

In IBC, the lymphatic drainage system within the breast, which works to remove waste products from the tissue cells, may become disrupted by the malignant tumour cells. This will eventually cause the vessels to become blocked leading to a build-up of the lymph (drainage fluid), causing the characteristic swelling and redness seen in this particular form of the disease.

Previous guidelines recommended a mastectomy as the best course of treatment for those affected by IBC, but research has led to a reform of the guidelines, which now encourage a localised, breast-conserving approach. If the cancer has not spread and the cells around the tumour are not malignant, there is little evidence to suggest that breast conservation is less effective than the mastectomy approach. These new guidelines also represent the first time UK clinicians and researchers collectively agree on a specific definition of IBC, offering clarity to healthcare professionals and patients, as well as helping to improve early intervention.  Experts believe these established guidelines will help to standardise diagnostic and treatment options and will bolster vital research in this field.

Dr Daniel Rea, the UK Inflammatory Breast Cancer Working Group clinical lead, commented on this development saying,  “These new guidelines represent a real step forward not only for clinicians but, more importantly, for women with inflammatory breast cancer in the UK. Treatment options that specifically target this rare breast cancer do not exist, and we need a concerted research effort to fix that. These new recommendations will allow some inflammatory breast cancer patients to be spared a more invasive mastectomy, and as treatments improve we hope that a breast conservation approach will become increasingly common.”

For more information on this article please see Breast Cancer Campaign and the British Journal of Cancer

Study shows exercising during chemotherapy reduces side effects
Findings from a recent Dutch study showed that women diagnosed with breast cancer who followed an exercise regime of either moderate or low intensity while undergoing chemotherapy experienced less fatigue, nausea and pain, as well as better physical fitness compared to those who did not exercise during treatment.

The trial involved 230 female participants who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and were scheduled to receive chemotherapy after surgery. Each woman was randomly assigned to one of three exercise groups: moderate to high-intensity, low intensity or a third group where the women were not encouraged to be active. The results after three weeks from the end of the chemotherapy period demonstrated the positive effects of exercise which enabled patients to better tolerate their cancer treatment.

“In the past, patients who received chemotherapy were advised to take it slow,” said Neil Aaronson of the Netherlands Cancer Institute who was the lead author of the study. “But actually, it is better for these patients to be as active as possible. Our study shows that even low intensity exercise has a positive effect on the side effects of chemotherapy. That is good news for those who really don’t feel like going to the gym. Small amounts of exercise are beneficial compared to being non-active”.

If you are interested in participating in an exercise programme tailored for woman affected by breast cancer Cancerkin are here to help. We provide a range of classes that vary from low intensity to more advanced, including Yoga, Pilates, Dance Yourself Happy and Can Exercise.

For more information on this article please see BreastCancer.org and Science Daily

If you would like to find out more about our fitness classes please see Cancerkin