There are many charities linked to breast cancer in the UK. Here’s a round-up of the top seven organisations.
Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s aim is clearly outlined on their website: “To stop breast cancer for good by improving early diagnosis, developing new treatments and preventing all types of breast cancer.” Additionally they seek to discover the causes of breast cancer and ensure the best possible care for women diagnosed with the disease.
Primarily Breakthrough Breast Cancer helps women and the families of those suffering from the disease by providing clear, expert information on the subject. This can be found both on their website, and on their app, iBreastCheck.
The website runs regular petitions, currently including one demanding a fair price for life-extending drugs, and another calling for more breast cancer medicines to be available for women in Scotland. Touch Look Check (TLC) is their breast cancer awareness drive, and annual fundraisers include Fashion Targets Breast Cancer and the Breakthrough Bake Off.
The charity’s main focus is scientific studies and research, and it funds nearly a quarter of all breast cancer related research in the UK. Much of this takes place in the Breakthrough Toby Robins Breast Cancer Research Centre; the first centre of its kind in Britain and comprising ten teams with 140 doctors and scientists. The charity also pays for breast cancer research units at King’s College, London and the University of Manchester.
Breakthrough Breast Cancer was founded by Bill Freedman and his children. Freedman’s wife, the radio and stage actress Toby Robins, died from breast cancer in 1986.
Breast Cancer Care is a support organisation for anyone suffering from breast cancer, plus their family, friends and carers.
A selection of their services include a telephone support helpline, an online Live Chat, a number of free downloadable eBooks, an ‘Ask the Nurse’ email service and in-person day services designed to “inform, support and connect people affected by breast cancer”.
Breast Cancer Care’s current campaigns are targeted towards improving the standards of care for people living with secondary breast cancer and also improving the same for younger and older people living with breast cancer.
With good health in mind, this charity’s fundraising events are all sports and fitness related, and involve organised walks, runs, cycle rides, triathlons, swims and more.
Patrons of Breast Cancer Care include former Prime Minister’s wife, Cherie Booth QC, and former Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell.
This charity’s mission is, “To accelerate progress by bringing together the brightest minds and biggest hearts to drive world-class breast cancer research, influence policy and practice, share knowledge and kick-start innovation.”
Breast Cancer Campaign fund research projects ranging from genetic studies to improved methods of treatment. The charity is currently financing research grants worth some £12,997,612 in 33 Centres of Excellence.
The Wear It Pink campaign takes place every October, during Breast Cancer Awareness month. The idea is that everyone wears one or more item of pink clothing to the office, at home or in school on the chosen day (in 2014 this will be 24 October), and donates £2 to Breast Cancer Campaign. Now in its thirteenth year, this popular fundraiser raises over £2 million each year for breast cancer research.
On 22 October 2014, Breast Cancer Campaign was responsible for turning a number of British landmarks pink, including Waterloo Bridge and the Oxo Tower in London, England, the Falkirk Wheel in Central Scotland, and Belfast Castle in Northern Ireland.
Co-founded by the ebullient Kris Hallenga who developed breast cancer at the age of 23, CoppaFeel! is no stranger to the pages of Let’s Talk Breasts due to the charity’s innovative awareness campaigns to inspire women to check their breasts regularly for lumps and changes, and thus effect early cancer detection.
CoppaFeel! targets a younger audience, encouraging women and girls to get to know how their breasts feel naturally, and not just assume that cancer only happens to those aged 40+. Hallenga’s own documentaries and media appearances provide inspiration for women of all ages as she continues in her personal fight against the disease, her twin sister Maren at her side. CoppaFeel!’s ambassadors are known as ‘the Boobettes’, and are all young women who have also had the disease at a young age.
CoppaFeel! intentionally sets out to shock and their list of innovative campaigns is seemingly endless: Check ’Em Tuesday, What Normal Feels Like topless posters, Bra Hijack, plus everything from flash mobs dressed as enormous dancing boobs, music festival Festifeel to hijacking the Houses of Parliament, the Lorraine show and the Angel of the North.
Celebrities attracted to CoppaFeel! by its youthful vigour and Kris’ own indomitable nature include Fearne Cotton, Newton Faulkner, Lorraine Kelly, Danni Minogue, Mathew Horne, Greg James, Dermot O’Leary and Mel B.
Although this charity is technically not a ‘breast cancer only’ organisation like the others in this article, as one of the top cancer organisations in this country, no list would be complete without it. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in this country, and Cancer Research UK is at the forefront of related research and clinical trials.
As well as funding research and trials, Cancer Research UK’s website holds definitive advice and resources for those with breast cancer. They also host a free Nurse Helpline, a Forum where cancer sufferers can chat to each other, and a number of free downloadable publications connected to all types of cancer and health management.
Few women haven’t heard of, taken part in or sponsored a participant for Cancer Research’s Race For Life – an annual event where fundraisers run or walk 5k in memory or celebration of a loved one who has been affected by cancer.
As one of the UK’s largest and most recognisable charities, large sums of money are involved in funding research with the aim of reducing the number of deaths from cancer. In the financial year 2010/11 alone, the charity spent £332 million on cancer research projects.
Over 40,000 people are regular volunteers for Cancer Research UK.
Breast Cancer UK is dedicated to achieving the primary prevention of breast cancer by reducing public exposure to the carcinogenic and hazardous chemicals in the environment and everyday products.
This charity seeks to save lives by identifying breast cancer causes and encouraging a preventative approach by educating the public, including patients, their families and the medical research establishment. They collate, conduct and commission research and the analysis of clinical data, and then publish the results.
Key campaigns: Current campaigns include Prevention is Better Than Cure, No More BPA, EDC Free Europe and No More Breast Cancer.
Breast Cancer UK’s approach to educating the public is clearly very different from the other charities examined within this article. Visit the site’s Reduce Your Risk page to read articles on avoiding synthetic, carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting chemicals on a daily basis.
Not as well-known a name as other charities listed within this article, Genesis claims it is “The only UK charity entirely dedicated to the PREDICTION and PREVENTION of breast cancer.”
The charity’s strategy is two-fold: PREDICTION means finding methods of predicting a woman’s personal risk of developing the disease, and PREVENTION involves research into ways of lowering this risk. Their site lists many achievements including the identification of new genes and gene fragments that can lead to breast cancer, and demonstrating the efficacy of regular MR scans in young high risk women, now adopted as a policy in NICE guidelines.
Current campaigns are known as Genesis ‘Challenges’ and include the Million Mile Challenge, the Tea Party Challenge, the Genesis Student Challenge and the Christmas Challenge.
A comprehensive list of all the breast cancer prediction and prevention projects Genesis are involved in is available on the charity’s website. Projects focus primarily on gene research, early detection and screening, drug research and diet and lifestyle investigations.
Genesis has an online shop selling everything from cycling shirts and wristbands to diaries and Christmas cards in the name of fundraising for their charitable research.
The information provided on this site is not meant to substitute for the advice of a qualified medical professional. Letstalkbreasts.co.uk neither assumes any legal liability nor makes any warranty or guarantee, either expressed or implied, regarding the completeness, accuracy, usefulness, or currency of this information. It is the responsibility of the reader to check for updates to the information contained on this site.