A White Rose for Every Yorkshire Life Saved

26 June 2019

Yorkshire Cancer Research pledges to stop more people dying from cancer in our region.

Yorkshire Cancer Research – the only charity dedicated to helping Yorkshire people avoid and survive cancer - has unveiled a floral sculpture in Leeds to communicate its work to prevent 2,000 people in Yorkshire dying from cancer every year.  

Sculpted by Yorkshire florist, Ami Firm from Ivy Florists, the design includes 2,000 white roses to provide a symbol of hope that represents each of the additional people who will survive cancer each year thanks to the charity’s work. 

Representatives from the charity handed out each of the 2,000 roses throughout the day in a bid to unite the region in raising awareness that people in Yorkshire are more likely to develop and die from cancer than almost any other area in the country. Currently, 583 people in Yorkshire are diagnosed with cancer every week and 177,000 people are living with the disease. It has the third highest cancer incidence in England with survival of some of the most common cancers below the national average. 

However, this Wednesday (26 June) Yorkshire Cancer Research outlined its mission to tackle cancer head-on by closing the gap in survival rates between Yorkshire and the rest of England.   

The sculpture was unveiled in Victoria Gardens, Leeds.

Dr Kathryn Scott, chief executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “The flower display beautifully represents our vision to help 2,000 more people survive cancer each year in Yorkshire. 

“Yorkshire Cancer Research is absolutely committed to having the biggest possible impact on cancer in our region. We are, in fact, the only charity dedicated to helping Yorkshire people avoid and survive cancer which means every penny donated and every research project directly helps save lives in Yorkshire.

“While our goal might sound ambitious, we are fully confident we will achieve it by tackling five key areas. Firstly we will raise awareness of how people can reduce their risk of cancer. Secondly, we will increase take-up of screening programmes and thirdly, we will increase early diagnosis by raising awareness of signs and symptoms. Our fourth aim is to work towards improving treatment and finally we will fund and support access to clinical trials in our region.

“In order to achieve our goal, we’ve estimated that the charity will need to invest at least £10m every year in research and community health programmes. So far, we’ve invested £40m in ongoing trials and projects to achieve this, but there’s still a way to go. We’re really hoping that today we can raise awareness of our mission but also rally support from the people of Yorkshire to consider fundraising to support this important cause.”

The charity is already making a huge impact on lung cancer in Leeds by funding a multi-million pound screening trial, which is testing how lung screening can be introduced across Yorkshire and nationally. Over the next four years 7,000 people across the city who smoke or used to smoke will receive a special type of x-ray called a screening CT scan that can detect very early signs of lung cancer.

It is estimated that around 400 lung cancers will be detected, allowing those patients to receive life-saving treatment.

The charity is also encouraging people throughout the region to take advantage of the screening programmes already available through the NHS for breast, cervical and bowel cancer. Screening can save lives by finding cancer early and in some cases, helping to prevent cancer from developing in the first place.  

To support the charity’s mission to raise £10m every year to invest in cancer prevention and treatment, it will be launching a summer of fundraising initiatives to coincide with Yorkshire Day on August 1. This will ask the people of Yorkshire to come together to celebrate everything that’s great about the region while raising vital funds to help save Yorkshire lives.

To find out more about Yorkshire Cancer Research’s pioneering research and initiatives, please visit: www.ycr.org.uk



Notes to Editors

Nearly four in 10 cancers are diagnosed at a late stage in Yorkshire. To reach the national target for screening, the region will need to see:

• An additional 84,860 people take up cervical cancer screening • An additional 53,869 people take up breast cancer screening

• An additional 21,146 people take up bowel cancer screening Treatment is another area where regional discrepancies occur.

Treatment is another area where regional discrepancies occur. There is a wide variation in the treatment options offered to cancer patients across the Yorkshire region but by ensuring treatment is consistent and of the highest possible quality the charity is confident it can save more lives. The charity is currently working to improve the treatment of bowel cancer by linking up local data and working with hospitals to identify areas that can be improved.

Another area of investment is in clinical trials. On average, just three in 10 cancer patients in Yorkshire are asked if they’d like to take part in a clinical trial during their treatment. In some hospitals this is as low as one in 10 cancer patients, which is significantly lower than the national average. Clinical trials are important in helping patients access innovative treatments and those taking part in them are also more likely to be closely monitored.

Hospitals that receive large amounts of research funding have lower death rates than trusts that don’t receive as much research funding. The most research active trusts have more doctors, nurses, critical care beds, operating theatres and make greater use of radiology services. They may also be more likely to embed new treatments sooner.

Prevention is another key part of the charity’s work. Research shows that four in 10 cancers are caused by lifestyle, including smoking, being overweight or obese, drinking alcohol, eating an unhealthy diet and not exercising enough. It’s acknowledged that levels of unhealthy behaviours are higher than the national average in Yorkshire.


Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: nikki@ycr.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 583 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
  • For further information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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