Sue Robertson, Community Legacy Manager and Rachel Shaw, Research Information Manager gave us an update on the work of Cancer Research UK.
Sue told us that, although 1 in 2 of us will be diagnosed with cancer, survival rates have increased. In the 1970s the survival rate was 1 in 4, currently it is 2 in 4 and Cancer Research UK is aiming for 3 in 4 by 2035 through working on prevention, early diagnosis, new treatment and optimisation of treatments.
There are around 200 different types of cancer. C.R.UK is the worlds largest Cancer charity funding the work of 4000 Doctors, Scientist and Researchers.
Four in ten cases of cancer can be prevented by lifestyle changes involving diet, quitting smoking and sun protection.
Early detection of cancers is important and Cancer Research UK fund healthcare facilitators to educate GPs, a cancer nurse helpline and interactive website advice. They are looking at ways to design better and kinder treatments. Sue said that 49% of cancer patients will have surgery and 40% will have radiotherapy.
Cancer Research UK fund a range of drug trials and have been responsible for pioneering 8 out of 10 new cancer drugs. Medicines can now be tailored to the individuals DNA and the charity is developing new Radiotherapy machines that target cancer cells more accurately.
Sue said over £400 million was spent on the charities programmes last year. A third of the funding comes from legacies and Cancer Research UK have a free will-writing service for anyone over 55 and without any obligation.
Sue’s message was one of positivity and hope for the future and that “together we can beat cancer”.
Many members have themselves or had close family and friends affected by cancer, so there were many interesting questions with answers provided by Sue and Rachel.