Yorkshire Cancer Research - Your Questions Answered

Date: 05 October 2018

Why do we need a Yorkshire cancer research charity?

What’s the point in having a cancer research charity here in Yorkshire? What makes Yorkshire so special?

Doesn’t everyone deserve the best treatment and care, no matter where they live? These are just some of the questions we hear at Yorkshire Cancer Research. So why is there a Yorkshire Cancer Research, and how is the charity helping people living in the region? 

Cancer in Yorkshire

Yorkshire is famous for many things, including the Bronte sisters and Yorkshire puddings. But did you know that cancer outcomes here are worse than the national average? The proportion of people who get cancer, and the proportion of people who die from the disease, is higher in Yorkshire than in England as a whole. 

Survival rates for many of the most common cancers are also lower than in most other parts of the country. 

On top of this, there is a huge variety in outcomes within the county itself. We all know that Yorkshire is a hugely diverse area. From cities like Hull and Sheffield to remote communities in the Dales and isolated seaside towns, people in Yorkshire come from a wide range of backgrounds. This means our region has some very specific problems that need to be tackled on a local level. 

If outcomes in Yorkshire matched those in the best performing area in England, 2,000 fewer people would die from cancer each year. 

Why does Yorkshire have worse outcomes than other places?

There are many different reasons why outcomes in Yorkshire are worse than in other places, and we are still investigating the causes. However, we do know that:

•    Yorkshire has high levels of unhealthy behaviours that can increase the risk of cancer. These include smoking, being overweight, not doing enough exercise and drinking too much alcohol. 


•    Yorkshire has a rich industrial heritage, which means that some people have worked with chemicals that may have increased their risk of cancer. For example, a higher than average number of people are diagnosed with bladder cancer in some areas of South Yorkshire due to chemicals used in the steel industry.


•    Some parts of Yorkshire have high levels of deprivation. People living in deprived communities often have poor knowledge and awareness of cancer symptoms and find it hard to access healthcare. This means more people are diagnosed at a late stage when the cancer can be more difficult to treat.


•    There are inequalities in healthcare across the county. Some people have to travel very far to access the best treatment, while others live close to hospitals with a high level of medical research. We know that patients do better if they are treated at a hospital where lots of research is taking place.


•    Fewer clinical trials take place in Yorkshire than in other areas of England. This means patients don’t always have access to pioneering treatments and the most up-to-date diagnosis tools. 


How is Yorkshire Cancer Research helping?

Yorkshire Cancer Research is dedicated to ensuring that everyone, in every community in Yorkshire, has the very best chance of a long and healthy life. 

In partnership with experts across the UK, our Cancer Information team has identified the problems that exist in our county, and we are now funding work that is helping to tackle these problems.   

We are:
•    Working in local communities to encourage healthy lifestyles, increase awareness of signs and symptoms and improve participation in the national screening programmes for bowel, breast and cervical cancer. 


•    Funding studies to improve early diagnosis, from investing in the UK’s largest lung screening trial to investigating how we can improve existing screening services.


•    Bringing more clinical trials to the region, so that more patients have access to the latest treatments.


•    Working with hospitals across Yorkshire to improve standards of treatment and care, ensuring that patients have access to state of the art surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.


•    Ensuring patients have the opportunity to report their experience with cancer more easily, so that medical professionals can provide treatment that is tailored to their specific needs. 


•    Improving access to palliative care, making sure patients are as comfortable and pain-free as possible and that their families and carers are receiving the right support. 


•    Funding rehabilitation programmes and studies that will help to reduce the recurrence of cancer.

Saving lives, thanks to the people of Yorkshire    

We are incredibly grateful to our amazing supporters who enable us to fund this vital work in Yorkshire. From hosting tea parties to running marathons, it is all thanks to their tireless efforts and endless creativity.

If you’re interested in supporting Yorkshire’s cancer charity, please head over to our Get Involved page to find out how you can help.  And if you’ve got a question about who we are or what we do, please email social@ycr.org.uk and we will do our best to answer it. 
 

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