On the pulse 19 June 2015

  • Hampstead Heath walk – Can you spot yourself?
  • Daily regime of aspirin may help block tumour growth found in breast cancer
  • Study find link between weight of postmenopausal women and breast cancer risk
  • A memory book for Holly

Hello! My name is Ellie and I will be the new Events and Development Manager for Cancerkin. I just wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself in my first edition of On the Pulse. I have joined Cancerkin from an education charity based in Battersea. I am really excited to be joining the team at this time. I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Hampstead Heath Walk and was truly inspired by everyone I managed to talk to. It was amazing to see so much determination, happiness and strength through every participant. I look forward to meeting even more of you throughout the year.

Hampstead Heath walk – Can you spot yourself?

Just so you all know we have now uploaded a selection of photos from the Hampstead Heath Walk to our website and facebook group. We would like to say a big thank you to David Bishop for taking such wonderful snaps of the day. Make sure you take a look and see if you can spot yourself, family and friends!

Study find link between weight of postmenopausal women and breast cancer risk

New research has found that obese post-menopausal women are at an increased risk of breast cancer, with the risk 56% higher for the most obese women in the study compared to women of normal weight. When the researchers explored specific breast cancer types they found the most obese participants could be as much as 86% more likely than women of a normal weight to be diagnosed with tumours sensitive to hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone. However, no link was found between weight and hormone-insensitive breast cancer tumours and the findings also showed that for women who were already overweight or obese, losing weight did not lower their increased breast cancer risk.

Researchers classified women of a normal weight as having a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or less, overweight a BMI of 25 – 35 and severely obese  a BMI of 35 or higher. However, though the study established a link between obesity and a higher breast cancer risk it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship – though a possible explanation for the results was the effects of the female hormone, oestrogen.

The research lead Marian Neuhouser, a professor of epidemiology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre, Seattle commented on the findings saying, “Obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer that is modifiable, making a healthy weight very important for prevention and is known to increase oestrogens in the postmenopausal women because oestrogen is made by fat tissue. Fat tissue also secretes inflammatory factors and is associated with insulin resistance – all of which may increase breast cancer risk”. For more information on this study please see The Huffington Post and Science World Report

A memory book for Holly

We said good-bye to Holly Lovering last Friday but we want to prepare a ‘memory book’ for her which will hopefully be ready for when she returns from her travels mid-August.  She has been one of the most remarkable colleagues and, after three years as Cancerkin’s Events and Development Manager, she will leave behind an amazing legacy. She has organised the last three walks, theatre events and all three lectures plus all those funding applications! It would be great if you could write a few lines to say good bye – citing any happy memories you may recall or simply saying thanks for her relentless energy, thoughtfulness and wit. Your words will be placed individually in the book possibly next to an appropriate photo. Please forward an email to vtodd@cancerkin.org.uk or simply write your message on a card or note and post it to Cancerkin.

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.