We’re working hard to solve this problem, and we’re excited to announce a major new partnership with Tesco. By working together we will find ways to close the gap between survival rates in the UK and the best countries in Europe so that thousands more will survive cancer in the future.
You may have seen the news today that Tesco has chosen Cancer Research UK as its Charity of the Year 2012 and is aiming to raise £10million. The money will be spent on research and awareness to improve early diagnosis and detection of the disease, supporting the funding of up to 100 research projects about early diagnosis across the UK.
Tesco will also be continuing its sponsorship of Race for Life for the next three years and is aiming to raise a further £3million to support the event series.
Spotting cancer early is crucial, as we know that people are more likely to survive cancer if it’s found at an early stage. Colin Barnard, 68, knows first-hand how important early diagnosis is and what a difference Tesco’s support will make to people’s lives. He had his bowel cancer detected through routine bowel screening in early December 2011.
You can read more about his incredible story in this special guest article.
Click on the image to listen to the latest podcast
In this month’s podcast we find out how studying a molecule found in bacteria could lead to new cancer drug targets.
Also in the news, researchers discover alarmingly low levels of public awareness about bowel cancer, and a survey shows that sunburn is rife as men skimp on sunscreen. Plus, our researchers discover a new gene implicated in ovarian cancer, and we take a look at the frontlines in the battle to control tobacco.
Listen now through the player below:
Inequalities matter in health. One of our goals as a charity is to help ensure that everyone in the UK – no matter what their background or where they live – has equal access to the best treatment for cancer. But the evidence shows that people from different backgrounds have different cancer outcomes. The big question is – why?
A new analysis of breast cancer survival rates, published today by the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), suggests that spotting cancer early may be one of the key reasons.
The ‘All Breast Cancer’ report (PDF) is a comprehensive analysis of women with breast cancer. Its authors collated in-depth data on a wide range of factors, including how long women survived, how they were diagnosed, and their socio-economic background.
To make things easy to compare, they divided the women into five groups, ranging from the least deprived (or affluent) to the most deprived.
If you’re a regular on this blog, you’ll know all about our aim to see more cancers diagnosed at an earlier stage, when the chances of survival are much improved.
As it stands, cancer tends to be diagnosed at a later stage in this country than elsewhere. Partly as a result of this, our survival rates are poorer than some other parts of the world.
But changing this is no mean feat, as there are so many reasons why cancer might be diagnosed late. Researchers have been investigating how this picture could be changed, although the evidence for what actually works is still growing.
But at a broad level, there are three things that could make a big difference – public awareness, awareness in health professionals, and better access to diagnostic tests.
A study reported in the news this month had the potential to confuse many women about the benefits of checking their breasts for unusual changes.
Researchers from Denmark reported in a Cochrane Library Review that there is no evidence that breast cancer death rates are lower amongst women who regularly check their breasts.
But we know from several studies that it is mostly women themselves who first report symptoms that may later be diagnosed as breast cancer.
Although this may seem contradictory, it isn’t. The review doesn’t actually tell us anything new – the UK stopped advising a strict routine of breast self-examination back in 1991, and there’s lots of evidence supporting this decision.