Tag Archive: cancer

Boost for Yorkshire children’s cancer charity

Leave a Comment
Little Gia with Candlelighters family support manager Natalie

Little Gia with Candlelighters family support manager Natalie

 

Candlelighters are excited to announce that their Cottage Campaign has been given a huge helping hand by The Kentown Wizard Foundation.

The Cottage Campaign to raise half a million pounds was launched in May this year by the Lord Mayor of Leeds and will fund the renovation of a cottage, just a stone’s throw away from Leeds Children’s Hospital.

The Cottage will provide family accommodation to enable more families facing childhood cancer to be together at what is a very upsetting and distressing time.

The Kentown Wizard Foundation have announced that they will match fund up to £250,000 towards the Cottage project.

Margaret Ingram, CEO at the foundation, explained, “We are delighted to be able to support Candlelighters in this way.

“Our Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications for funding; instead we actively seek out charities we wish to support. We have offered this match funding to Candlelighters because we have been so impressed by the wonderful work the charity does and because we believe that the Candlelighters Cottage is a fantastic project.”

The Kentown Wizard Foundation exists to benefit children and young people and was set up in 2015 by philanthropist Ken Townsley who has since donated or pledged in the region of £100 million to the Foundation. That money will generate substantial annual income in perpetuity and the trustees donate this income to other UK registered charities whose objectives and values are aligned with theirs.

Jo Shepheard, Charity Director at Candlelighters, told us: “The Cottage will provide huge benefits for children with cancer and their families ensuring they can stay together when they most need one another.

“The generous matched funding from The Kentown Wizard Foundation means we are moving nearer to making the Cottage a reality, their support is invaluable to us and we are extremely grateful.”

If you would like to find out more about the Candlelighters Cottage Campaign or how you can get involved please visit www.candlelighters.org.uk

Share

You Could Help Give Someone a Second Chance of Life

Leave a Comment

Thanks to a stranger six-year-old Gaurav Bains survived his fight against a rare blood disorder. You can register to be a potential lifesaver too.

In June 2013 Gaurav was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, called infantile monosomy 7 syndrome. His family were told that he’d urgently need a bone marrow transplant in order to prevent leukaemia from developing.

Around 30% of patients in need of a blood stem cell or bone marrow donation are lucky enough to find a matching donor within their own family. However, unfortunately Gaurav’s parents, Gurprit and Sandip, and his sister, Kiran, were not a match. Like in Gaurav’s case and 70% of patients living with a blood cancer he needed to find his match from a stranger to have a second chance of life.

The search was on to find a match for Gaurav but it was made even harder due to his south Asian heritage – there are relatively few potential donors from minority ethnicities on the UK blood stem cell donor registry. The blood cancer charity DKMS exists to find lifesaving blood stem cell donors for anyone in need.

Luckily a match was found in November 2013 and the bone marrow transplant took place on 19 December of the same year. At the beginning of 2017 Gaurav and his family travelled to Germany to meet his lifesaving stranger, Stefan, so they could thank him in person.

Finding lifesavers

Every 20 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with a blood cancer. It is the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK. Yet less than half of the UK population are aware of blood cancer issues.

There is no single cure for blood cancers. But, a blood stem cell donation from a genetically similar person can often be the best, and last, option for treatment.

There are two methods which blood stem cells are collected; around 90% of donations are taken from peripheral stem cells collections through the blood stream or a donation of bone marrow is collected from the back of the pelvic bone.

The need for more Asian donors

The chance of being diagnosed with a blood cancer is not the same for everyone. The majority of registered blood stem cell donors in the UK are white northern Europeans, people of other ethnicities may have less chance of surviving blood cancer because it is harder to find a matching donor.

Latest figures show the proportion of people of Asian heritage on the national blood stem cell registry is just 5%, while white northern Europeans make up 78% of the potentially available donors.

Help the fight against blood cancer

That’s why DKMS has launched its latest campaign – to raise awareness and encourage more people to join the fight and ‘swab to be a lifesaver’.

Gaurav’s dad Sandip Bains said: “We were so overwhelmed when we were told there was a match for Gaurav. The gratitude that you feel towards a complete stranger knowing they have given your son a second chance of life is one we will never forget.

“The fact we were lucky enough to be able to thank Stefan in person was incredible and we will forever be grateful. For me to be able to share another father’s day, birthday and Christmas with Gaurav is an incredible feeling. Until the problem hits home we were completely oblivious, that’s why the work DKMS does in raising awareness of blood cancer and the need for blood stem cell donors is so important.”

How you can help

If you are aged between 17-55 and in general good health please sign up for a home swab kit at dkms.org.uk and go on standby to save the life of someone just like you.

Share

CANCER BE AWARE: Roadshow gets involved with mosques and gurdwaras on educating the communities about the disease

Leave a Comment

 

“Being bloated or having diarrhoea isn’t something we usually discuss with others.”

Health teams have been tackling the lack of awareness around cancer in the West Midlands where around 30,400 people are diagnosed with cancer each year.

With approximately 14,400 people dying from the disease in this region, new roadshows have been taking place across Birmingham to increase awareness of persistent stomach troubles as possible signs of cancer.

The Be Clear on Cancer roadshow visited a number of places of worship and community organisations across the Midlands, including Bethel Convention Centre & Church, Jamia Masjid Haroonia and Guru Nanak Nishkam Sewak Jatha Gurdwara and Healthcare Trust.

The campaign, part of a wider campaign launched by Public Health England in the Midlands, is encouraging anyone suffering from symptoms such as persistent diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort in the tummy area, to see their doctor. These problems can be a sign of a number of different cancers, such as bowel, ovarian or pancreatic.

Around nine in ten cases of cancer are diagnosed in people aged 50 or over, and the earlier it is diagnosed, the greater the chances of survival. The Be Clear on Cancer teams have trained community ambassadors who have been engaged in conversations with South Asians, Black Africans and Caribbeans about the disease.

Campaign bosses say raising awareness is crucial, as a recent survey in the Midlands shows that only one in six (16%) over 50s would see their GP if they felt bloated for more than three weeks.

Figures show that only one in four (24%) would go to the GP if they had experienced discomfort in the tummy area for over three weeks. Furthermore, the survey found many residents are concerned that they would be wasting their GP’s time if they went to see them about such problems.  

The Be Clear on Cancer community ambassadors have been encouraging people who may be experiencing persistent tummy troubles to see their GP and explaining that their doctor will want to see them.

Bhai Sahib (Dr) Mohinder Singh Ahluwalia KSG OBE, patron of Nishkam Healthcare Trust in Birmingham says: “Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

“It’s a lofty mission. The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign needs to be supported by one and all in the Midlands who come to know of it. We shouldn’t ignore spreading the word.

“All men and women, especially those aged 50 or over, need to see their doctor quickly if they suffer from prolonged stomach troubles.”

The campaign is also being supported by local celebrities Sameena Ali and Nitin Ganatra.

ITV presenter Sameena Ali who lives in the Midlands, comments: “I’m glad this campaign is launching in the area.  

“I never realised that tummy troubles such as diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort in the tummy area, for three weeks or more could be signs of cancer so am keen to raise awareness in my community so others know what to look out for.

“Being bloated or having diarrhoea isn’t something we usually discuss with others, and it’s also something we often dismiss or ignore, but don’t be embarrassed or shy about it.

“Breaking down the barriers of embarrassment could save lives. Tell your doctor if you have any concerns, your doctor will want to see you.”

For further information about tummy troubles as possible signs of cancer, please visit nhs.uk/tummytroubles.

Share

Running for £24,000: Bradford’s determined fundraiser helps to raise money for cancer care

Leave a Comment
10K: Kamlesh Patel recently took part in a ten kilometre run in Bradford

10K: Kamlesh Patel recently took part in a ten kilometre run in Bradford

 

A man from Bradford has been instrumental in raising over £24,000 for charity.

Kamlesh Patel has participated in a number of fund raising events, many of them physically challenging, and he’s showing no signs so slowing down.

Marie Curie is a charity that is very important to Kamlesh, so much so that he’s helped to raise over £9,000 for hem.

“Marie Curie needs donations to continue running its nursing service, hospices, support line and much more,” Kamlesh explained.

“Cancer touches the lives of many, young and old.

“I feel emotionally touched seeing people suffering from cancer and wanted to do something for them and their families, which will help the cancer patient’s quality of life.

“The hospice in Leeds-Bradford provides free specialist medical cancer care for people with serious and terminal illnesses and emotional support for their families, giving them the best possible quality of life.”

The hospice is a place where cancer suffers can stay, or visit regularly to receive treatment such as pain relief, physiotherapy and complimentary therapies.

“It’s a warm, welcoming place where loved ones can be together,” Kamlesh said.

“And because the hospice works hand in hand with local nurses in the community, they also help people return to their own homes and be looked after there.”

FUNDRAISING: Kamlesh Patel has helped to raise an impressive £24,000 over the years for various causes

FUNDRAISING: Kamlesh Patel has helped to raise an impressive £24,000 over the years for various causes

 

The rest of the 55-year-old’s efforts have been for organisations both locally and internationally, raising money for causes like St Luke’s Hospital (Bradford), St James’s Hospital (Leeds), Oxfam, Sport Aid and the Kenya SEWA project (Selfless Efforts for Welfare of All - a Hindu faith-based humanitarian non-profit service organisation) to name just a handful.

“Fundraising is difficult, because with every challenge I do people’s expectations get higher. When I go around again asking for them to sponsor the next one they’re keen to know how I’m going to top the last challenge completed,” Kamlesh laughingly explained.

“They want me to do tougher challenges and it becomes even harder.”

Kamlesh said that marathons are very physically demanding and unpredictable.

“You don’t know what to expect on the day. Mental preparation is very important when you're running, you have to rely on yourself.”

Still, Kamlesh won’t be slowed down. He’s already planned several fundraising events for 2017, including the Greater Manchester Marathon in Trafford on 2nd April and a Yorkshire Three Peaks trek, which covers an exhausting 24 miles, and includes a 5,200ft ascent.

To help Kamlesh in his tireless efforts to raise money, check out his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kamlesh-patel-2017

Share

CANCER : Don’t ignore the warning signs

Leave a Comment

Nitin Ganatra supports new Midlands campaign driving awareness of persistent tummy troubles as possible signs of cancer

  • In the Midlands around 55,800 people are diagnosed with cancer each year and around 26,100 die of the disease
  • Key findings from a new regional survey reveal that few people would see their GP if they had persistent tummy troubles – a potential sign of cancer   
  • The campaign is supported by local celebrities Nitin Ganatra, Sameena Ali, Manish Bhasin and Noreen Khan

Public Health England has launched a new Be Clear on Cancer campaign in the Midlands to raise awareness that tummy troubles lasting for three weeks or more could be a sign of cancer. In the Midlands around 55,800 people are diagnosed with cancer each year and around 26,100 die of the disease.

The campaign, which is being supported by local celebrities Nitin Ganatra, Sameena Ali, Manish Bhasin and Noreen Khan, encourages people suffering from symptoms such as persistent diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort in the tummy area to see their doctor. These can be signs of a number of cancers, including bowel, ovarian or pancreatic.

Around nine in 10 cases of cancer are diagnosed in people aged 50 or over.

A recent survey shows that only one in six (16%) over 50s in the Midlands would see their GP if they felt bloated for more than three weeks and only one in four (24%) would go to the GP if they had experienced discomfort in the tummy area for over three weeks.

The survey also shows that many Midlands residents in this age group do not think that persistent tummy troubles are serious enough symptoms to seek advice from their GP, or that such symptoms could be a sign of cancer; only a third (37%) think that discomfort in the tummy area could be a sign of cancer and just half (47%) think that persistent bloating could be a sign of the disease.

Furthermore, the survey found many residents are concerned that they would be wasting their GP’s time if they went to see them about such problems.

Dr Lola Abudu, director of Health and Wellbeing for PHE West Midlands, said: “Every year in England about 288,000 people are diagnosed with cancer, with around 30,500 people from the West Midlands and 25,300 people from the East Midlands. Even though people are twice as likely to survive cancer than they were 40 years ago, we want to save more lives and early diagnosis and treatment is vital.

“Cancer mainly affects older people, with around 90% of cases diagnosed in the over 50s, so this campaign is aimed particularly at these people, to encourage them to see their doctor if they have tummy troubles such as diarrhoea, bloating, constipation, nausea, discomfort in the tummy area, or blood in poo for three weeks or more. People should also see their doctor if they notice any other unusual changes, like a lump in the tummy area, post-menopausal bleeding, or unexplained weight lost. It may be nothing serious, but if it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable.

“More than 40% of cases of cancer could be prevented, largely through lifestyle changes such as not smoking, keeping a healthy bodyweight, eating a healthy balanced diet and cutting down on alcohol – so by making a few simple lifestyle changes, you could seriously reduce the risk of cancer.”

Former Eastenders star, Nitin Ganatra from the Midlands, said: “I'm so pleased to be supporting the Be Clear on Cancer campaign that has come to this area. Cancer is still not openly discussed in the Asian community and this can cause a delay in going to see the GP so I am keen to raise awareness.  Knowing the signs and symptoms of cancer, including the tummy troubles covered by this campaign, could save your life and going to see your GP if you are experiencing them is imperative. If cancer is found at an early stage, it is more likely that it can be treated successfully.”

ITV Presenter who lives in the Midlands, Sameena Ali said: “I’m glad this campaign is launching in the area.  I never realised that tummy troubles such as diarrhoea, bloating or discomfort in the tummy area, for three weeks or more could be signs of cancer so am keen to raise awareness in my community so others know what to look out for. Being bloated or having diarrhoea isn’t something we usually discuss with others, and it’s also something we often dismiss or ignore, but don’t be embarrassed or shy about it. Breaking down the barriers of embarrassment could save lives. Tell your doctor if you have any concerns, your doctor will want to see you.”

For further information about tummy troubles as possible signs of cancer, please visit nhs.uk/tummytroubles.

Share

Every year, 2000 people aged 60 – 74 are diagnosed with bowel cancer

Leave a Comment
BE CLEAR ON CANCER: 50-year-old GP, Dr Girish Patel is fronting a campaign developed by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK

BE CLEAR ON CANCER: 50-year-old GP, Dr Girish Patel is fronting a campaign developed by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK

A GP is fronting an initiative developed by Public Health England and Cancer Research UK, which highlights the role of bowel cancer screening in helping to save lives.

Dr Girish Patel, is appearing in a new Be Clear on Cancer campaign to raise awareness of the disease and hopes that he can effectively highlight the role and importance of bowel cancer screening.

The campaign is aimed at men and women aged 60-74 years to encourage them to take part in the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening programme.

People in this age bracket who are registered with a GP will receive an NHS bowel cancer screening kit through the post, every two years. Bowel cancer screening is a simple test that can be done in the privacy of your own home. It is designed to detect early signs of bowel cancer.

The 50-year-old GP, who lives in Eccles and has two children, appears on the official website explaining who is eligible to use the kit, how it works and why it’s worthwhile taking part in bowel screening. He has worked as a GP in Salford for 21 years.

He said: “I recommend my patients complete their bowel screening test when it arrives through the post because it’s one of the best ways to find bowel cancer early, when it’s easier to treat successfully.

“I also encourage everyone to read the leaflet sent with their test kit, to help them decide whether to take part because bowel cancer screening is a personal choice.”

Every year, 2000 people aged 60 – 74 are diagnosed with bowel cancer in the North West and 600 people of the same age in the region will die from the disease.

Fiona Osgun, Senior Health Information Officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “Some people don’t return the test kit because they don’t think they need to take part if they’re not feeling ill. But screening is designed to detect bowel cancer before any symptoms develop. The kit comes with clear step-by-step instructions and tips for collecting your poo.”

“Even if the kit does show something out of the ordinary, it doesn’t mean it will turn out to be cancer. But if it is cancer, catching it at an early stage means it is easier to treat successfully.”

Bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from bowel cancer by 16 per cent. When bowel cancer is diagnosed at the earliest stage, more than nine in 10 people will survive the disease for more than five years.

Anne Mackie, Director of Screening, Public Health England explained: “It is important that we raise awareness of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme and highlight that screening is a choice.

“Screening gives those who participate, and who are unknowingly living with the earliest signs of bowel cancer, the best chance of successful treatment.”

Cancer Research UK believes that no one should be diagnosed too late to have treatment that might save their life.  Diagnosing cancer early is one of the most powerful ways to beat it.

For more information visit www.cruk.org.uk/beclearoncancer or ring the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Helpline on 0800 707 60 60.

Share

Ain’t no mountain high enough… Superhero legal eagle sets new standards to support children with cancer

Leave a Comment
FUNDRAISER NUMBER ONE! Abdul Iftikhar of Kamrans Solicitors who raised money for children's cancer charity by climbing Mount Snowdon, seen here presenting cheque to Emily Wragg, Operations Director and Deputy Director of Candlelighters

FUNDRAISER NUMBER ONE! Abdul Iftikhar of Kamrans Solicitors who raised money for children's cancer charity by climbing Mount Snowdon, seen here presenting cheque to Emily Wragg, Operations Director and Deputy Director of Candlelighters

In almost 25years of fundraising I have not seen such a large amount of money raised in such a short space of time.

Climbing a mountain is no easy feat, however when Abdul Iftikhar, found out about children’s cancer charity Candlelighters, he was inspired to raise funds to help the very, very poorly children and their families that face such difficult situations.

The dad from Bradford, fondly known as Ifty to his colleagues, recently attended Candlelighters annual awards event where he was blown away with their work and that of the volunteers. 

Ifty, partner at Leeds-based solicitors Kamrans, then went on to witness first-hand the outstanding work that the charity undertake in providing financial support and assistance to children fighting cancer and their families.

When he decided to take on the challenge of climbing Mount Snowdon, he had no idea just how successful his fundraising efforts were going to be.

Asking friends, family and business colleagues to sponsor him, Ifty’s initial target of £2000 was easily smashed in the first few days on his online fundraising page.

Two weeks later, he’d raised a whopping £7585 to support children with cancer and their families.

His fundraising achievements were recognised by Justgiving as being in the top 1% of fundraisers in December.

Making climbing Snowdon look easy, the eager beaver went on to climbing another mountain the next day.

“Cancer doesn't discriminate and anybody regardless of their age, race, religion, gender. It is for this reason that those affected are given adequate support in such difficult times,” says Ifty.

He adds: “ I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, colleagues and all our generous donors for their unwavering support. I would also like to particularly thank all those at Gotyasize Circuit Class, Girlington Community Centre, Bradford for their support on the day. 

“Together we have made a real difference for the children fighting cancer and their families.”

Brian Curran, Candlelighters Corporate Fundraiser said: “In almost 25-years of fundraising I have not seen such a large amount of money raised in such a short space of time.

“When Abdul Iftikhar told me he was climbing Snowdon I expected the climb to be sometime in 2017. When he told me he was going to attempt in just three days I was shocked.

“To see him raise so much money was amazing and we are very grateful to him and his supporters.”

Abdul Iftikhar hasn’t stopped his support and will be working closely with Brian to encourage more companies to support Candlelighters. 

You can visit Abdul Iftikhar’s justgiving page to view the updates and pictures.  He would encourage you to support Candlelighters by making a donation on his page.

https://www.justgiving.com/Abdul-Iftikhar?utm_source=Sharethis&utm_medium=fundraisingpage&utm_content=Abdul-Iftikhar&utm_campaign=pfp-email.

Share

Professor of prevention: Local professor leads the way in fight against lung cancer

Leave a Comment
BREAKTHROUGH: Bradford University’s Professor Mohamed El-Tanani has discovered a new way to prevent chemotherapy resistance

BREAKTHROUGH: Bradford University’s Professor Mohamed El-Tanani has discovered a new way to prevent chemotherapy resistance

Making daily breakthroughs in cancer research is all in a day’s work for a Bradford University Professor whose focus on cancer metastasis is helping to fight back against the killer disease.

Mohamed El-Tanani has held positions in universities around the world, as his crusade to conquer cancer spans across all communities and lives.

His latest research programme, at the University of Bradford, strives for a better understanding of metastasis and thus has the potential to improve cancer patient survival and quality of life.

Metastasis is the complex process of the spreading of cancer from the original tumour to distant organs and is responsible for the majority of cancer deaths. Once cancer has spread, current treatments ultimately fail for most patients.

Researchers on Professor El-Tanani’s team at the University of Bradford have most recently discovered a way to prevent chemotherapy resistance in lung cancer by blocking a protein found in cancer cells.

Suppressing this protein, called Ran-GTP, also causes cancer cells already resistant to the first-line chemotherapy treatment, gefitinib, to become re-sensitised to the drug.

Speaking to the Asian Express, he said: “Cancer is a very complex disease. Our research doesn’t mark the end of lung and breast cancer but it’s another step towards understanding how it works and one of the ways it manages to become resistant to drugs we develop. We’re hopeful that our work could help to save lives.”

The question that always crops up when it comes to cancer research is whether there will ever be a cure for the disease.

“We may not have found a way to beat cancer yet,” said Professor El-Tanani, “but more researchers than ever are entering the field to help find a cure. I am sure one day we will cure most -if not all - cancer patients. This is only possible through research, and funding more research is crucial to achieving this.”

Professor El-Tanani said the fact is that around one in three people will still get cancer and that is what spurred him on to be a researcher in this area.

“There are very few people who aren’t touched by cancer in one way or another, and to know that you’re working in an area that has the potential to make the lives of so many people better is a big positive.”

He added: “This is one of the main reasons I chose to work in such a competitive career, in cancer research.”

The University of Bradford is seeking funding to put these drugs into clinical trial so that they can test this research.

Such trials cost a lot of money yet this is the only way they can bring new treatments to patients.

“I really hope that this work will help people suffering from cancer,” Professor El-Tanani said.

Catherine Pickworth, Cancer Research UK’s science information officer, said: “When cancer becomes resistant to chemotherapy it’s a lot harder to treat.

“Excitingly, [Professor El-Tanani’s work] has identified a potential target to stop or even reverse cancer resistance to a chemotherapy drug called gefitinib. Now more research and clinical trials are needed to find and test a drug that will help patients whose cancers have become resistant to chemotherapy.”

Share

Yorkshire’s ‘BIG’ issue

Leave a Comment
WORRYING TREND: Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe says he is worried about the latest figures showing a lack of awareness about cancer

WORRYING TREND: Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe says he is worried about the latest figures showing a lack of awareness about cancer

Preventable cancers are linked to Leeds’ rising obesity rate

A Leeds GP is warning the public that more awareness has to be raised about the different causes of cancer following the publication of new figures this week highlighting that three out of four people are unaware of the link between obesity and cancer.

Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe, of Chapeltown Family Surgery, said: “Fat isn’t just a lump of flesh or inactive tissue, it actually produces hormones and chemicals and they leak out. Those hormones increase your risk of cancers.

“The rate of obesity is rising. In West Yorkshire, there’s around 1.3 million people who are overweight and especially in Chapeltown, there’s a definite increase compared to the rest of Leeds.”

Almost three out of four - 73 per cent - of people in the North are unaware of the link between obesity and cancer, according to new figures released by Cancer Research UK this month.

A survey of people in the region found that, as well as general ignorance about obesity and cancer, around three-quarters of those asked didn’t know obesity was linked specifically to ovarian cancer.

Two thirds didn’t know there was a link with breast cancer and more than half didn’t know pancreatic cancer was linked to obesity.

Dr Jayasinghe added: “Obesity is a big problem. People also don’t realise that 42 per cent of cancers are preventable so if people are worried about getting cancer the simplest advice is to try and stay slim and not to smoke.  Those are the main things. The point is to make radical changes to try and address the prevention strategy.  

“People need to exercise and eat a healthy, balanced diet. It takes a 60 minute jog to run off the calories from a sandwich. It really is true that a minute on the lips is a lifetime on the hips.”

Being overweight or obese is the single biggest preventable cause of cancer after smoking and is linked to an estimated 18,100 cancer cases each year in the UK.

It is also associated with at least 10 types of cancers, including breast, bowel, womb and oesophageal. 

Alison Barbuti, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the North, said: “Around a quarter of all adults in the region are estimated to be obese, and this has a real impact on their risk of developing cancer.

“Eating a healthy balanced diet and becoming more active can help people to keep a healthy weight. And encouraging children and teenagers to do the same can help them keep to a healthy weight later on in life.” 

Cancer Research UK is calling on people across the North West to email their MP to help tackle junk food marketing to children.

Share

Be clear on cancer: Medical roadshow spreads serious message

Leave a Comment
TALK TO YOUR GP:  Khalid Ahmed, a pharmacist, warns Manchester shoppers about the early signs of cancer and heart disease

TALK TO YOUR GP: Khalid Ahmed, a pharmacist, warns Manchester shoppers about the early signs of cancer and heart disease

A local Asian pharmacist joined the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ roadshow in Manchester’s Arndale to urge South Asians to be aware of the symptoms of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease.

Khalid Ahmed, superintendent pharmacist and director of Your UK Pharmacy, Manchester which supported the roadshow said:  “As pharmacists we have a vital role in supporting this campaign. We know that early diagnosis of these conditions has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life for those living with long term conditions.”

The Be Clear on Cancer roadshow, part of a new Public Health England campaign, visited the Arndale Centre in Manchester on 17th and 18th August to raise awareness that a persistent cough, or getting out of breath doing everyday things, such as vacuuming or walking up a short flight of stairs, could be a sign of lung cancer or other lung disease.

Breathlessness can also be a sign of heart disease. The event encouraged anyone who notices these symptoms to visit their GP as finding these conditions early makes them more treatable.

The most recent data reveals that in Greater Manchester, around 2,320 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year  and around 65,250 people have been diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – a common form of lung disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis).  Around 101,530 have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease.

Early diagnosis of these conditions has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life of those living with long-term conditions, such as COPD. The earlier heart disease is diagnosed the better - treatment can help manage the symptoms and reduce the chance of a heart attack.

As part of the campaign, a new film has been released that features real people sharing their personal experience of their conditions and a GP highlighting the signs and symptoms associated with these diseases.

The film can be viewed at http://po.st/FTSYVt and is also available in Hindi and Bengali. It will be aired across Black and Asian TV channels from Thursday 21st July and will run until 31st October.

For further information about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease, google search ‘Be Clear on Cancer’.

Share

Beating cancer sooner: Oldham scientist’s research is helping to beat the disease

Leave a Comment
AT THE HELM: Habiba Bequm is dedicated to saving lives through her work in the lab

AT THE HELM: Habiba Bequm is dedicated to saving lives through her work in the lab

Never before has there been a higher survival rate for people who are suffering from cancer.

With half of those diagnosed with the disease now surviving for 10 years or more, results speak for themselves as research continues into fighting against one of the world’s biggest killers.

Locally, unsung heroes at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute – part of the University of Manchester – are undertaking pioneering work as they continue to lead the front line in the battle.

Amongst the group of lab-coated crusaders is 26-year-old Habiba Bequm, from Oldham.

The young scientist, who works at the Institute’s Drug Discovery Unit, is playing an important role in helping to develop drugs of the future to treat cancer patients.

She is part of a team of scientists including biochemists, cell biologists, bioinformaticians, computational chemists and synthetic chemists, who are helping to develop new drugs to targets cancer in patients.

With a wide scope of work undertaken on a day-to-day basis, Habiba explained what her role involves and how they are making a difference to lives across the UK and around the world.

 “We build upon biological discoveries made within the cancer research community and aim to discover targeted therapies for cancers that are hard to treat,” she said.

“Targeted therapy simply means to use drugs that precisely identify and attack cancerous cells while doing little to no damage to normal cells.

“I specifically work as a cell biologist and my work varies from day-to-day. I could be in the lab dealing with cells, investigating new drugs chemists have made or understanding new technologies.

“At other times, I’m sat behind a computer either analysing data or researching new targets.”

Currently, Habiba and her team are investigating a protein called XRCC1 – found in breast cancer.

She explained: “XRCC1 is part of the machinery that repairs DNA in cells and a reduced amount of this protein confers a weakness in the cancer cells that can be exploited.

“We hope to take advantage of this weakness and develop new drugs for this group of breast cancer patients.”

Habiba has recently taken part in a project to explain her work on breast cancer to a fashion designer from Manchester Metropolitan University along with three others.

The work will go on display at Craft and Design in the Northern Quarter as part of European City of Science.

She said: “Working for Cancer Research UK has been lots of fun with many opportunities to share our exciting research with the charity’s supporters.

“This latest project helping a textiles student at Manchester Metropolitan to create a dress with the design inspired from breast cancer research conducted at the Drug Discovery Unit has been really interesting.

“I hope it will raise more awareness about the important work being done here at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.”

Nationally, Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.

Habiba helps to make up the 400-strong team based in Manchester who work around the clock panning the whole spectrum of cancer research.

“It’s a great place to work,” she said. “Being located next door to one of the largest cancer hospitals, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, brings many benefits.

“One of these, for me, is getting to visit the Clinical Trials Unit. Seeing patients have access to pioneering new treatments and talking with leading specialists really helps bridge the gap between scientists and doctors, driving cancer research forward. It’s very rewarding.”

The Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC) was formed in 2006 in order to further develop links between The University of Manchester, Cancer Research UK and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Share

Race against cancer

Leave a Comment
MEDAL WINNERS: All the students who ran the race received a medal for their efforts

MEDAL WINNERS: All the students who ran the race received a medal for their efforts

Academy kids run to raise money for fantastic cause

Hundreds of students from a Dewsbury secondary school have laced up their running shoes in the name of charity as they raised funds for Cancer Research UK.

Despite the hustle and bustle of exam season, teens from Thornhill Community Academy’s Years 7, 8 and 9 were eager to add a charity run to their packed timetable before the summer holidays commenced.

Earlier this month, they were able to do just that as the Race for Life 5k challenge arrived at the school.

Over 400 students in total took on the task of walking, jogging or running the distance, raising money for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work.

Upon finishing the race, children were also presented with a medal to commend their efforts.

Head Teacher, Bev Matthews, praised the enthusiasm of all those involved who have so far raised hundreds of pounds.

“Today has been a real team effort and a great day for students and staff, whilst raising money for a seriously good cause,” she said.

“Most of us know someone who has been touched by cancer and we all have our special reasons for taking part and wanting to help more people survive.”

Five kilometres - or just over three miles - is an achievable distance for all ages and abilities.

£5 will kit one of our research labs out with essential chemicals, £8 kits out Cancer Research scientists with a lab timer, helping them to find out what makes a cancer cell tick and £30 covers the cost of a cervical cancer trial for one day.

The school are still asking for sponsorship from parents, students and friends of the academy as they aim to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK.

You can sponsor the runners through their ‘Just Giving’ page: www.justgiving.com/TCA-21-06-2016

Share

Black and Asian cancer survivors feature in new film about cancers

Leave a Comment
EXPERT’S VIEW: Dr Jhumur Pati, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Barts Health NHS Trust says that cancers can be more treatable if caught early

EXPERT’S VIEW: Dr Jhumur Pati, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Barts Health NHS Trust says that cancers can be more treatable if caught early

Film highlights key cancer symptoms   

As part of Public Health England’s latest ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign, Black and Asian cancer survivors, alongside doctors, feature in a new film which aims to increase awareness of the key symptom for both bladder and kidney cancers – blood in urine.

Around 17,450 people in England are diagnosed with either bladder or kidney cancer every year, and around 7,600 people die annually[1]

Consultant urologists from Barts Health NHS Trust, Jhumur Pati and Professor Frank Chinegwundoh OBE highlight the importance of an early diagnosis and discuss the cultural issues that can delay Black and South Asian people from seeing their doctor early.

Jhumur Pati, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Barts Health NHS Trust said: “There is often a strong fear of cancer, and a perception that cancer is an incurable disease that quickly leads to death.

“[However], we know that bladder and kidney cancers are more treatable if they are found early.

“Some prefer to see a spiritualist rather than going to see their doctor or self-treat symptoms with herbal remedies.

“There is nothing wrong with seeing a spiritualist [but] I would encourage those who notice blood in their urine, even if it’s just the once, to visit their doctor straight away.”

Professor Frank Chinegwundoh OBE, Barts Health NHS Trust said: “Blood in the urine can be caused by a variety of bladder or kidney problems.

BEATING CANCER: Mrs Jyoti Howe, a bladder cancer survivor, who featured in the film

BEATING CANCER: Mrs Jyoti Howe, a bladder cancer survivor, who featured in the film

“Most of them are not serious but it can be an early sign of  bladder or kidney cancer so should not be ignored.

“Blood in urine is a symptom in most bladder cancers and almost a fifth of kidney cancers. Early diagnosis and treatment of bladder and kidney cancer is crucial, so being aware of the symptoms and knowing to go to your doctor straight away could save you or your loved one’s life.”

For those diagnosed at the earliest stage - stage 1-  the likelihood of surviving five years or more can be as high as 84 per cent for kidney cancer and 77 per cent for bladder cancer.

However, for those diagnosed at a late stage - stage 4 - survival is as low as only 10 per cent for kidney cancer and 9 per cent for bladder cancer.

Mrs Jyoti Howe, bladder cancer survivor featured in the film said: “I was fit with a healthy lifestyle, going to the gym and doing yoga when I noticed blood in my urine.

“I had no idea that blood in urine was a key symptom of bladder cancer but I realised that I needed to get medical help straightaway. When they told me I had bladder cancer I thought they must have got it wrong, it’s a mistake.

“Unfortunately it wasn’t a mistake but luckily it was caught early and I was successfully treated. Having cancer has changed my outlook on life, before I took life for granted, now I make the most of it.

“I know cancer is still seen as a taboo in the Asian community but I’m living proof that bladder cancer is more treatable if caught early. It’s so important to act quickly when you notice blood in your urine, don’t ignore it thinking it will go away. See your doctor without delay.”

The film can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1U6Xd4y and will be aired across Black and Asian TV channels during March. For further information about the signs and symptoms of bladder and kidney cancers, please visit nhs.uk/bloodinpee.

Share

Yorkshire Cancer Research teams up with Quaid-e-Azam cricket league

Leave a Comment
RAISING AWARENESS: (L-R) Basharat Hussain, Chairperson of the Quaid-e-Azam Cricket League, with Sophie Bunker, Community Engagement Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, and Naheem Malik, League Secretary

RAISING AWARENESS: (L-R) Basharat Hussain, Chairperson of the Quaid-e-Azam Cricket League, with Sophie Bunker, Community Engagement Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, and Naheem Malik, League Secretary

Yorkshire V Cancer

Yorkshire Cancer Research has teamed up with the Quaid-e-Azam Cricket League to raise awareness of cancer among Yorkshire’s Asian community.

Staff and volunteers from the charity will attend events throughout the summer to help people understand the signs and symptoms of the disease and encourage them to attend screening appointments.

The league will also hold a special ‘Yorkshire V Cancer’ fundraising event on Monday 29th August, at Saltaire Cricket Club.

The 8-a-side tournament will raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research through donations, a raffle and entertainment.

Yorkshire Cancer Research is the current charity partner of The Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and the Yorkshire Cricket Board.

The three organisations are working together to reduce the impact of cancer in Yorkshire, where people are more likely to get cancer, and more likely to die from it, than most other areas in England.

One of the charity’s main priorities for 2016 is improving the early detection of cancer in Yorkshire.

Patients diagnosed with cancer at an early stage - before the tumour grows or spreads to other tissues or organs - tend to be treated more successfully and have a better chance of survival.

Basharat Hussain, Chairperson of the Quaid-e-Azam League, said: “The promotion of a health issue so undermined within the Asian community can only be for the benefit for those that play in the league and their families and we are proud to work with Yorkshire Cancer Research on this issue to get the Asian community talking about cancer."

Sophie Bunker, Community Engagement Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Our outreach into the Asian community is a major focus for us this year and cricket is a fantastic tool for us to bring the community together.

“We will be pushing our early diagnosis campaign at the varying events the Quaid-e-Azam league is involved with throughout the year to ensure people understand and are aware of cancer's signs and symptoms and when they should visit their GP for further advice.”

Yorkshire Cancer Research is encouraging all 778 local clubs in Yorkshire to hold a ‘Yorkshire V Cancer’ event during 2016 and help to raise funds. Clubs or businesses that choose to host a fundraising day will receive a pack with hints, tips and promotional materials to get events up and running.

For more information about holding a ‘Yorkshire V Cancer’ cricket match, visit www.ycr.org.uk/yorkshirevcancer or contact Sophie by emailing sophieb@ycr.org.uk or calling 07470 057493.

Share

“Don’t be stumped: Send that sample!”

Leave a Comment
GP’S ADVICE: Bowel cancer survival rates are fantastic if caught early

GP’S ADVICE: Bowel cancer survival rates are fantastic if caught early

The message is clear: kit is life-saving

Dr Elaine James - a GP from Yeadon Tarn Medical Practice and Macmillan funded GP Cancer Lead for Leeds - has said that bowel cancer kits which are delivered to your door in the post can mean the difference between life and death.

She said: "Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer and fourth most common cancer. If it's picked up early, the survival rate is very good. 97% will survive for more than five years."

However, older men from the Asian community in the Leeds areas of Chapeltown and Harehills are reluctant to do the test. Bowel cancer screening uptake in Chapeltown and Harehills is only 39%, compared to Chapel Allerton, which has a 51% uptake.

Elaine continued: "People think it will never happen to them. But one in every 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime. Bowel cancer is especially common in the over 60's age-group. However, 54% of cases are preventable.

Bowel Cancer Champions working in the local GP practices say that male Asians are especially reluctant to use the kits. Why this has become the case is not clear, but it could be linked to their faith or beliefs, or perhaps not understanding the kit instructions.

Elaine explained that a pilot study was conducted in London where people were sent a kit with a pair of gloves and a paper towel that fitted around the toilet seat. The improved hygiene of the kits helped boost the numbers of people checking themselves for signs.

So what's in the kit? It includes a sample collection card, six cardboard sticks, a foil-lined envelope and an instruction booklet.

Testers will have a motion, catch it in a container or on toilet paper and then use the cardboard sticks to smear the samples onto the card. Then it has to be sealed into the foil lined envelope and posted for free.

It couldn't be easier.

The results are sent back in around two weeks. If it is negative (clear), another test will be sent again in two years.

If the test is positive (blood has been detected), further tests will be needed. A positive test does not necessarily mean a cancer diagnosis.

Please do not hesitate to contact your local GP surgery if you have any concerns.

Share

‘Test now and save your life’

Leave a Comment
ALL CLEAR: John Whelpton was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and overcame the disease in just over a year because he caught it early

ALL CLEAR: John Whelpton was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and overcame the disease in just over a year because he caught it early

Cancer survivor speaks of the importance of checking for cancer

A bowel cancer survivor from Ackworth is urging others to test themselves for the disease after receiving the ‘all clear’ notice because he caught it early.

John Whelpton, 67, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2009 after noticing blood in his stools.

During a check up with his GP due to a large prostate, he mentioned the condition had been occurring for around three months and was subsequently fast-tracked to be checked for cancer.

John was told he had stage two of four bowel cancer less than a month later.

“When I was told I had cancer for the first time, I thought that’s it, I’m going to die,” he said. “That’s the mindset I had grown up with but times have changed and cancer is no longer a death sentence.

“I was reassured quickly by a consultant who told me that because it was only in stage two of four, it could be treated.

“I was told I will be back to living a normal life.”

Within 12 months of initial diagnosis, John had the cancer removed and had a temporary stoma inserted following an ileostomy.

He is now back ‘fighting fit’ and living his normal life because the cancer was caught at an early stage.

“I would just tell people, especially those over 60, to make sure you use these test kits sent to your home because the earlier you catch it, the easier it is to treat,” he added.

“Even if you don’t think you have any of the symptoms, like blood in your stools, this test can tell if you have cancer at the earliest stage possible.

“In Leeds, the uptake of these tests is too low. Test now and save your life.”

For people aged 60-74, a free test pack is sent out to their home every two years by the NHS which allows them to carry out a test without even having to visit their local GP.

The test contains everything you need – just three items - and is very simple and straightforward to use. Simply sample, seal, send to your GP.

For more information, please visit www.nhs.co.uk and search for ‘bowel cancer’.

Share

Know the signs of Bowel Cancer: Tackling the second biggest cancer killer

Leave a Comment
APPEAL: Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe is working in south Leeds to raise awareness of the importance of testing for bowel cancer at the earliest stages

APPEAL: Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe is working in south Leeds to raise awareness of the importance of testing for bowel cancer at the earliest stages

A Leeds GP is on a mission to raise awareness of the importance of testing for bowel cancer with statistics showing a 97 per cent survival rate for people diagnosed at the earliest stage.

Dr Hasantha Jayasinghe is currently helping run a campaign in south Leeds to ensure residents are taking advantage of the free test kits sent out to homes and are fully informed on the disease.

Every 30 minutes someone in the UK dies from bowel cancer despite it being one of the easiest cancers to treat if caught early.

Whether people are uncomfortable with discussing the subject or have the ‘it’ll never happen to me’ ideology, the results show a low take-up rate of testing in the UK, especially amongst BME communities.

Dr Jayasinghe said: “It is such a simple test and 98 per cent of the time, people will receive a normal result.

“If you catch the cancer early there is a very high chance of defeating it quickly, while statistics show that only 10 per cent of people who catch it at the latest stages will survive past five years.

“We are currently working with individuals in the local area to raise awareness of the importance of testing for bowel cancer and will be visiting local mosques to spread the message and offer guidance.”

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer and predominantly occurs in people aged over 60 years.

Symptoms to look out for include: blood in your poo or looser poo, a pain or lump in your stomach, feeling more tired than usual for some time, or losing weight for no obvious reason.

For people aged 60-74, a free test pack is sent out to their home every two years by the NHS which allows them to carry out a test without even having to visit their local GP.

The test contains everything you need – just three items - and is very simple and straightforward to use – simply sample, seal, send.

The three items you receive are a spatula for taking a small poo sample, a sealable card carrier to place the sample on and a freepost envelope to post it for screening. It is hygienically contained.

The test checks for the presence of blood in a stool sample, which could be an early sign of bowel cancer, and can even detect the cancer at an early stage, before symptoms appear.

After completing the test, you’ll receive the results within two weeks of sending in the kit with one of three possible results.

Most people will have a normal result, meaning no further tests are needed and you'll be invited to take part in screening again in two years (if you're still aged 60-74).

A few people will have an unclear result, and they will be asked to repeat the FOB test up to two more times.

If the result comes back abnormal, the individual will be offered an appointment to discuss colonoscopy at a local screening centre.

Dr Jayasinghe added: “If you have any of the symptoms that are common in bowel cancer, and your results come back ‘normal’ it is important that you still visit your GP.

“I want to see our community become healthier and that is something I am really passionate about.

“People naturally feel empowered when they are in good health so by carrying out these tests, of which the large majority will come back negative, it will give a lift to many people in the community.”

Asian Express Newspaper are proud to be backing the campaign this year, with features to run throughout December.

Share

£50k raised for cancer charity

Leave a Comment
FUNDRAISER: Over 600 guests helped smash the target of £50,000 last weekend as funds were raised for MacMillan Cancer Support

FUNDRAISER: Over 600 guests helped smash the target of £50,000 last weekend as funds were raised for MacMillan Cancer Support

Night of entertainment smashes targets for MacMillan

Over 600 guests gathered for a black tie gala dinner event in Birmingham last weekend as tens of thousands of pounds were raised for MacMillan Cancer Support.

Organised by East End Foods plc, the night of entertainment included acts from around the world who, with their array of talents, helped bring the best out of the generous public.

Hosted by Bobby Devro and welcomed by Ed James, of Heart FM, stars on the night included renowned Turkish pianist, Kev Orkian, as Inderpaul and his group of 35 musicians, and the Unconventional Crooners.

With guests raising funds through the purchasing of tickets, more donations were made on the night through competitions as the organisers smashed their target of £50,000 for the charity.

Jas Wouhra, director of East End Foods, said he was delighted to see so much money raised and looked forward to hosting similar events in the near future.

“Such events show people’s commitment towards good causes, which need more support in today’s hard economic environment,” he said.

“Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the charities, which provides help and support to cancer patients and their families.

ENTERTAINMENT: A number of acts delighted crowds during the East End Foods-organised gala dinner event

ENTERTAINMENT: A number of acts delighted crowds during the East End Foods-organised gala dinner event

“Surprisingly four in every ten people are directly or indirectly affected by this terrible disease, many losing their loved ones before the end of their natural life.”

In 2011 over 330,000 people were diagnosed with cancer with over 160,000 losing their lives.

Mr Wouhra added: “MacMillan is an amazing charity but that said, we still want to see a need for such charities ended within the next 10 years because we hope, by then, that there may be a 100 per cent cure for cancer.

“We thank all the people who have donated to this amazing cause and as Winston Churchill said, ‘We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give’.”

Sponsors of the event included: Vox NEC, Creative Touch Designs, IOD, Moet Hennessy, Ferrero, ITV, Jas Sansi, Arepstar, The State Bank of India, Kingsgate press, Pernod Ricard, Ed James, Birmingham Post, Ianlive.com, Harvey Nichols, Kingsland, Flash Form and of course East End Foods.

Share

South Asian women urged to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer

Leave a Comment

The NHS is launching a new ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ public awareness campaign highlighting the fact that the older you get, your chances of getting breast cancer increase, with one third of women diagnosed with the disease each year being aged 70 or over.

Surprisingly, two thirds of women aged 70 and over (67 per cent) wrongly think women of all ages are equally likely to get breast cancer, when in fact a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with age.

The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign also encourages Asian women to know the signs and symptoms, talk to their daughters or daughter-in-laws and visit their doctor if they spot any changes to their breasts.

With many women only on the lookout for a lump in the breast, other signs of the disease are often overlooked. The campaign pushes women to identify several lesser-known but equally important signs of the disease, including pain in the breast or armpit and changes to the nipples, size or shape of the breasts.

Actress Meera Syal supports NHS ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer amongst Asian women

Actress Meera Syal supports NHS ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer amongst Asian women

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Regional Director at Public Health England, said: “Research shows that women aged over 70 have low symptom awareness and are more likely to delay presenting to their GP with breast cancer, which could ultimately affect their chance of survival.

“Added to this are the cultural taboos and embarrassment that are specifically associated with the discussion and education about breast cancer amongst older Asian women.

“Women cannot afford to ignore the statistics - one in three women who get breast cancer are over 70, so don’t assume you’re past it or dismiss any symptoms as a sign of ageing and most importantly don’t be afraid to talk to your GP.”

The campaign is urging daughters to engage older female members of their families in conversations about cancer to help detect the disease. The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the higher the chance of survival. Therefore, Asian women are encouraged to talk about the issue.

The campaign has received celebrity support, with actress Meera Syal featuring in an infomercial designed for Asian communities. Speaking on her role in the project, Meera says:

“Breast cancer is something which is hardly discussed amongst Asian women. It comes down to taboos and a sense of embarrassment. I really want to help get the message out there that breast cancer is a very real and relevant disease amongst Asians.

“My own mother suffered from it and fortunately she spotted it early and like most women who do these days she survived.

“This was due to her swift action in visiting her GP as soon as she noticed changes in her body.

“It goes to show how quick responses can influence a matter of life and death.”

Share