On the pulse 10 April 2015

  • Message from Cancerkin’s Founder and President, Santy Parbhoo
  • Can Roses Help Prevent Breast Cancer Aggressiveness?

Message from Cancerkin’s Founder and President, Santy Parbhoo

Dear Friend, Supporter or Patient,

I am unable to join in this year’s walk as I shall be away.  Last year with your help I was sponsored to a total of £10,000. Your help aids us enormously to continue our work particularly in the Cancerkin Lymphoedema Clinic which treats patients from all over Greater London.  Victoria Todd – our CEO and her team have worked hard and have successfully obtained major funds from Grant giving bodies including the National Lottery.  With the merger of Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals, which have substantial Breast Units, with the Royal Free NHS Trust our services will be required even more.

In my absence, I hope you will give Victoria generous support so that the Cancerkin 2015 Walk target of £50,000 will be reached.

For those of you who are doing the Walk – my sincere apologies.  I do enjoy meeting you all – but that will have to wait until next year or at our next Event. 

Very many thanks for your help and continuing support.

Santy Parbhoo                                                                                                               Founder & President of Cancerkin 

Study findings suggest roses may help to reduce the spread of triple negative breast cancer                                                                                                                        A recent study has shown that using extracts from rosehips, the fruit plant of roses, can help to reduce the spread of triple negative breast cancer – a subtype of breast cancer that accounts for 10 – 20% of breast cancer cases. The term “triple negative” refers to the unique characteristics of this subtype, in that these particular malignant cells lack three key receptors – oestrogen, progesterone and human growth factor 2 – that are targeted in standard breast cancer treatment. As a result, there are fewer options to combat the disease effectively.

The study involved treating tissue samples of triple negative breast cancer cells with various concentrations of rosehip – a natural source of vitamin C used in tea and other foods – with the result that the rate of breast cancer cell growth was observed to decrease by half at the highest concentration. Further experiments have suggested possible mechanisms behind these results. Rosehip extract may inhibit the function of two key enzymes involved in triple negative breast cancer cell growth and notably the extract was found to improve the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin.

Dr Martin, the principal study investigator, commented on these findings saying with further study it is hoped rosehip may be used as a preventative strategy in breast cancer or as a combination in standard cancer therapy in the future.

For more information on this study please see Breast Cancer News and News Wise.

Cancerkin’s East London Newsletter, March 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.

Cancerkin invited to speak at East London conference focusing on communication with ethnic minority groups on health issues     

HEAR Human Rights and Equalities Network for London invited Cancerkin to participate in a conference focussing on issues surrounding health inequalities in London and how to tackle this important issue; with particular focus placed on projects working with those from an ethnic minority background at the local community level. Victoria Todd (CEO) and Xanthe Roantree (East London Programme Manager) were invited to give a short presentation on the importance of clear communication when delivering breast cancer awareness messages to ethnic minorities. Our efforts to highlight the work we do with local communities to help combat high one year breast cancer mortality rates in East London was received positively from a range of voluntary and public sector organisation representatives.

We thank Christine Goodall, Coordinator of the HEAR Network for inviting us to take part in this insightful and dynamic conference.  Cancerkin welcomes hearing from any community organisation working in East London who would like us to deliver a breast awareness session.

Please contact Xanthe or Jacqui on eastldn@cancerkin.org.uk or call 0207 830 2310.

Current changes in motion for Cancerkin’s East London programme

The East London team are making changes to ensure the services we provide meet the objectives of the Programme. We have been looking at the feedback we get and whether the needs identified at the beginning of the programme are still being met by Cancerkin or by others.  We have recently reviewed our complementary therapies programme. It has been a great success and we are delighted to see that other providers are now following in our path. As a result we no longer see a need to provide sessions at St. Peter’s Church in Hackney and we have decided to withdraw from there with immediate effect. So our last session there will be on 16 April 2015. We will continue to hold half day sessions at the Bromley-by-Bow Centre, The Given-Wilson Institute in Plaistow and St. Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney. We plan to review the position again in 3 months’ time.

Our evaluation shows that our breast awareness work has garnered consistent positive feedback and has been effective in informing people about the symptoms of breast cancer, the importance of self-checking and of going to breast screenings. We would like to expand this work and we are currently looking at how to do this most effectively within our current resources.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding this update please do not hesitate to contact Xanthe or Jacqui on eastldn@cancerkin.org.uk or call 0207 830 2310.

Recruitment of Awareness Ambassadors

On 25 March, Xanthe Roantree (East London Programme Manager) led the training session for our Awareness Ambassadors. We had 6 potential recruits attend the session which focussed on health inequalities in East London and the importance of delivering the breast awareness message to local communities in the area. We were delighted with the response from our enthusiastic and articulate volunteers and look forward to working with them in the near future.

On the pulse 3 April 2015

  • Congratulations to Holly!
  • Hampstead Heath Walk 2015: Alternative route for walkers with pushchairs and limited mobility
  • Study shows women affected by breast cancer could benefit from psychosocial interventions

 NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (General Management specialism)

We congratulate our Development and Event Manager Holly Lovering who has gone through the gruelling selection process for the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and has been successful! Eleven and a half thousand people applied for the Scheme for approximately 100 jobs. The even better news is that she has been offered a job in London, so we look forward to keeping her in touch with Cancerkin. We shall be very sad to lose Holly but are delighted that her skills and energy will be devoted to the NHS. She will leave us after the Hampstead Heath Walk.

Alternative route for walkers with pushchairs and limited mobility

Following feedback from last year’s walk, the Cancerkin team have visited Hampstead Heath this week to find an alternative route for our supporters who may be walking with pushchairs, or have restricted mobility. We are pleased to inform you that an alternate route has been mapped out to enable all who want to take part can.

To register for the walk simply download and complete the registration form.  If you are interested in the shorter route for those with limited mobility, please indicate this on your registration form. For more information, please email Jacqui (jmoneke@cancerkin.org.uk)  or Holly (h.lovering@cancerkin.org.uk) or call us on 0207 830 2323.

For more information on the Hampstead Heath Walk please visit our website.

Benefits of psychosocial interventions for breast cancer patients found

A recent study, conducted by the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami, has published findings which show that offering psychosocial interventions to women affected by breast cancer can help to reduce stress, as well as improve survival and quality of life outcomes. The interventional trial involved evaluating 240 women to determine the efficacy of an intervention that helped to minimise stress.

The researchers found women in the study group who received training in specific relaxation techniques, coping strategies and attended a one-day educational seminar about breast cancer showed significant improvements in their mood and quality of life during the first year of treatment. A 15 year follow-up showed a lower prevalence of depression in participants who were given therapy, comparable to women who had never been diagnosed with breast cancer. The psychosocial interventions used in the study were also found to be effective for women of different ethnic backgrounds.

Recommendations given by the researchers following the results of the study include intervention by social workers and psychologists taking place in the early stages of the disease to achieve the long-term psychosocial health benefits observed in the trial. The lead author Jamie Stagl commented on these findings saying, “Women with breast cancer who participated in the study initially used stress management techniques to cope with the challenges of primary treatment to lower distress. Because these stress management techniques also give women tools to cope with fears of recurrence and disease progression, the present results indicate that these skills can be used to reduce distress and depressed mood and optimize quality of life across the survivorship period as women get on with their lives”.

Although at Cancerkin we don’t provide exactly the same interventions, our complementary therapies and our Patient Support Group discussions are very much focussed on relaxation and dealing with stress. So it is good to have this evidence of their effectiveness.

For more information on this study please see Breast Cancer News and Cancer.