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Cancerkin appeals breaks £200,000 barrier - but there's still a long way to go

PUBLISHED: 18:46 16 August 2007 | UPDATED: 14:36 07 September 2010

Ed Thomas RENEWED appeals for donations have been made by a Hampstead cancer charity which provides pioneering treatment for women all over London. The Ham&High has joined forces with Cancerkin in its 20th anniversary year to help raise £1million. The bre

Ed Thomas

RENEWED appeals for donations have been made by a Hampstead cancer charity which provides pioneering treatment for women all over London.

The Ham&High has joined forces with Cancerkin in its 20th anniversary year to help raise £1million.

The breast cancer charity, based at the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street, has so far raised just over a fifth of its target.

The money will fund cutting edge treatment and help continue the support given to women battling breast cancer.

Cancerkin chief executive Gloria Freilich said: "We are very encouraged that we have managed to raise more than £207,000 in the first eight months of this year.

"But the months are rolling by and we still need a lot more if we are to break the £1million mark."

A quarter of the money will go towards a new intraoperative radiotherapy machine. The new technology gives a single dose of radiation to patients early on - cutting out the need for ongoing radiotherapy over a period of weeks or months.

"It is a simple, ingenious device which gives radiation treatment to patients with an early, single breast cancer during the course of their mastectomy operation," said Ms Freilich.

"This will hugely reduce the stresses related to ongoing treatments and patients will experience no skin damage from the intra-operative procedure.

"In addition, it will help reduce the number of mastectomies performed in remote areas of the country, where women choose to have a mastectomy because of difficulties in travelling daily to radiation oncology centres."

Cancerkin was set up in 1987 as the first hospital-based, dedicated breast cancer charity in Britain. Its priorities are treatment, supportive care, education and research.

Just two full-time staff are employed while the charity relies on the work of specialist volunteers, many of whom have beaten breast cancer themselves.

More volunteers are needed as well as generous donations from the public to continue the invaluable service.

Events held so far this year as part of the £1million appeal have included a prestigious reception attended by the Duke of Gloucester and a 10km walk around Hyde Park.

High-profile supporters include footballer Graeme Le Saux and Hampstead actor Tom Conti.

Fundraising events later in the year include a gala concert at the Royal Festival Hall featuring world-renowned musicians.

Ms Freilich added: "Last year we had more than 2,500 patient visits and that number is rising all the time since one in nine women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime.

"So we need as much help as possible from the public to carry on."

To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/cancerkin.

ed.thomas@hamhigh.co.uk

Each year, 40,000 women in Britain will be told they have breast cancer. On average, one in nine women will develop breast cancer at some stage in their life.

Cancerkin was founded 20 years ago at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead when support for women with breast cancer was limited.

It was the first hospital-based breast cancer charity in Britain and also treats people suffering from lymphoedema.

Cases of breast cancer are on the increase. However, mortality rates are falling thanks to earlier diagnosis and better treatment.

Five-year survival rates for people with breast cancer are now about 80 per cent.

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