In the UK 20,000 women are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer (ovarian, womb, cervical, vaginal and vulval) every year and of these more than 7,700 women will die. These cancers are known as the silent killers as they are often diagnosed far too late. Every day more than 50 women receive news of this diagnosis and 21 families will lose a woman they love. The Gynaecological Cancer Fund (GCF- Charity No. 1154755) was launched in 2015 to support Dr Susana Banerjee’s research program, at The Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea;GCFraises awareness and at least £250,000 a year to help fund Dr Banerjee’s oncological research.
By analysing a tissue sample from a patient with cancer GCF can identify the genetic DNA and molecular profile of a woman’s cancer. This information helps identify molecular abnormalities in the cancer that lead to or drive its spread. By identifying these molecular abnormalities GCF can target these ‘cancer drivers’ with new drugs, helping them to tailor available drugs to the patient’s individual molecular abnormalities rather than the traditional ‘one size fits all’ treatment. The new drugs available have the potential to be far more effective than traditional chemotherapies and with more manageable side effects. This means that more women have a chance of receiving treatments that work for them without being subjected to distressful side effects.
This week the GCF returned to Britain’s no1 innovative fashion retailer TOPSHOP with a limited edition of the “Lady Garden” brand hooded sweatshirts and sweat-pants, created in collaboration with Black Score designerSimeon Farrar, 30% from the sale of each garment will go to the GCF. Modern beauty and supermodel with a conscience Cara Delevingne is fronting this year’s campaign along with a committee of A-list celebrity members: Chloe and Poppy Delevingne (sisters), Mika Simmons, Jenny Halpern Prince and Tamara Beckwith Veroni.These young women are disowning the taboo and shame most women feel talking about their vaginas, this committee of “it-girls”are using their combined social media presence and reach to talk about the cancerous cells that can affect vaginas. Since the launch on 8th September, at the time of writing the Instagram images achieved a combined reach of over 46,314,671 and this is still accumulating.
By analysing a tissue sample from a patient with cancer GCF can identify the genetic DNA and molecular profile of a woman’s cancer. This information helps identify molecular abnormalities in the cancer that lead to or drive its spread.
Following last year’s campaign the Gynaecological Cancer Fund carried out a limited survey, conducted on 264 women between the 22nd July and 9th August 2016, discovering 81% of the women are more aware of their gynaecological health and 59% are more aware of the symptoms of gynaecological cancers since the GCF began, hopefullyyoung women are looking out for the symptoms and are brave enough to talk about their bodies more.
More information about gynaecological cancers can be found at http://gynaecancerfund.com/gynaecological-cancers/