2018 has been an incredible year for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
We’ve made great strides in our goal to fund research and community health initiatives that will save Yorkshire lives.
And we couldn’t have achieved everything we have without the endless support of people living in the region, who continue to amaze and inspire us with their creativity, enthusiasm and dedication.
Here we share our favourite photos from the past 12 months so you can see the difference you’ve made.
In January we launched a new health check project designed to improve cancer symptom awareness and help-seeking in Yorkshire’s deprived communities.
Our researchers are finding out if an interactive online health check questionnaire can increase early diagnosis and healthy lifestyles in areas of South and West Yorkshire.
People taking part are provided with a summary of their responses using a traffic light system (red, amber and green) to highlight where they need to take action or seek advice.
In February we were delighted to welcome Dr Stuart Griffiths as our new Director of Research and Services.
Stuart was inspired to pursue a career in cancer research at a young age following the death of his cousin. He worked for Prostate Cancer UK, Breast Cancer Now and the National Cancer Research Institute before moving to the north.
Stuart’s experience, skills and passion have been essential in driving forward the charity’s strategy to tackle specific cancer problems in Yorkshire.
We launched our new Vape to Quit campaign in March, urging smokers in Yorkshire to quit by using e-cigarettes.
Our campaign backs evidence from Public Health England which states that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking.
Smoking is the leading cause of early death in Yorkshire. People who use e-cigarettes with the help of local stop smoking services are more likely to quit successfully.
This image is taken from our Vape to Quit campaign video, which you can view here: https://yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk/vapetoquit
We’ve since sent campaign materials to pharmacies, GP surgeries, libraries, corner shops and other community venues. We’re also working with West Yorkshire Fire Service, who are helping us reach more smokers by sharing our campaign during fire safety visits.
In April Sam Lingard from Embsay, near Skipton, shared his story to help us promote a new scheme to identify people with Lynch syndrome.
Lynch syndrome is an inherited genetic condition that increases the risk of developing bowel cancer by up to 80%. Sam tested positive after discovering a strong history of bowel cancer in his family.
An estimated 14,227 people living in Yorkshire have Lynch syndrome, but very few know they have it, and this means they are missing out on regular tests.
Hospitals are struggling to offer testing due to a lack of funding, so Yorkshire Cancer Research stepped in by offering tumour testing for bowel cancer patients living in the region.
In May we responded to a shocking campaign by the Sunbed Association claiming to bust ‘myths’ about the dangers of using sunbeds.
The organisation made a series of untrue assertions through its social media channels, including one that stated there is no evidence that sunbeds cause skin cancer.
Sunbeds have been classified by the World Health Organisation as a ‘Group 1 carcinogen’, a category that requires the highest level of evidence that a substance causes cancer.
In 2015, 1,167 people in Yorkshire were diagnosed with melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Cases of melanoma in Yorkshire have been gradually increasing since 2001.
We responded to the claims in this blog post.
In June we shared David Howarth’s experience with cancer to highlight how men can be affected by the disease.
David has been diagnosed with both bowel and prostate cancer. During an interview for Male Cancer Awareness Month, he said:
“It can be difficult to get men to open up. It’s hard to break the barrier down. When I give talks about my experience, the women always have their hands up, but the blokes just sit quietly.
“We need to make people aware that they don’t need to be afraid of cancer. People are surviving a lot longer. If the cancer is caught early enough, there can be a good outcome. The problem is that people don’t come forward enough. Talking about it is the first step to changing that.”
We extended our Wise Up To Cancer community health programme to Bradford in July.
Funded by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Tampon Tax Fund, the project offers South Asian women a ‘chat about health’ in community and pharmacy settings. It also provides further support to help women attend screening appointments if their screening is overdue.
The project is being delivered in partnership with the University of Bradford, supported by Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire, The Ridge Medical Practice and Avicenna Medical Practice.
In August we announced that our cancer rehabilitation programme Active Beyond Cancer would be returning to Leeds.
The programme, delivered in partnership with Leeds Rhinos Foundation, aims to help cancer patients by increasing fitness levels, improving quality of life and building confidence.
The sessions – run over 12 weeks - cover a range of activities, from chair aerobics to ballroom dancing, and include advice and support on topics such as nutrition and sleeping well.
Research shows that completing 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day can help reduce the risk of recurrence of some cancer types and prevent other long-term health conditions.
We took over Emerald Headingley Stadium for a historic match between Leeds Rhinos and Toronto Wolfpack on September 28.
The charity teamed up with Leeds Rhinos in 2018 to improve the early diagnosis of cancer by raising awareness at matches.
During September’s dedicated takeover game we gave fans the chance to chat to GPs about health worries at a special ‘Check It Out’ clinic and learn about cancer signs and symptoms through our ‘RhiNO to Cancer’ campaign.
We also held a collection on the gate and around the ground, handed out ‘If in doubt, check it out’ try cards and gave away t-shirts signed by Rhinos players.
In October we announced Let’s Talk about Cancer, a free event hosted by Yorkshire Cancer Research for cancer patients and their family, friends and carers.
Held on Thursday, 14 March 2019 at Magna Science Centre, Rotherham, Let’s Talk about Cancer has been created by, and for, people affected by cancer.
The event will include talks by leading experts on how to live well with, and after cancer, and provide practical sessions covering activities such as Pilates and techniques like mindfulness.
Those attending will also have the opportunity to talk to people going through a similar experience, chat to providers of helpful services including other charities, financial services, fitness providers and NHS services, and find advice on where to go for further support.
After more than a year of preparation, the Leeds Lung Health Check was officially launched in November.
This multi-million pound project, funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research, has been developed in partnership with Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the University of Leeds and Leeds City Council.
About 7,000 people across the city who smoke or used to smoke are being invited for a special type of x-ray called a screening CT scan that can detect very early signs of lung cancer.
The CT scans are taking place in a mobile unit based in supermarket car parks and shopping centres to make it more convenient for people to take part. Find out more about the Leeds Lung Health Check.
In December, we launched a campaign highlighting the link between alcohol and cancer.
Drinking alcohol can increase your risk of seven different types of cancer, but knowledge of this fact is low among the general public. 3% of all cancers are caused by alcohol, and this equates to 1,000 new cancer cases in Yorkshire every year. Most people like to have a drink or two during the festive season, and we don’t want to ruin anyone’s fun. But following the government’s recommended guidelines of no more than 14 units each week helps keep your health risks at a low level. Take a look at Our Festive Guide to Less Harmful Drinking.
We’ve got lots of exciting plans for 2019 and beyond.
From investing millions of pounds in new patient-focused research projects to hosting our Let’s Talk about Cancer event, we’ll continue to ensure the money donated to Yorkshire Cancer Research is spent tackling specific cancer problems in our local communities.
Keep an eye on our news feed and social media channels to stay up-to-date.
Finally, we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us during the last 12 months, from taking part in the Selby Three Swans Sportive to holding an office bake sale or making a monthly donation. Every penny makes a difference.
Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.