Race funds get cancer research up and running

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MONEY raised during previous Race for Life events is being used to fund life-saving cancer research at Scarborough Hospital.

This weekend the women-only 5K race will be held in Scarborough’s North Bay, but many of those taking part may not have realised that sponsorship money they raise could be used so close to home.

Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust is currently involved in 29 oncology and haematology trials working with patients who have breast, bowel, lung, prostate, kidney, bladder, uterine and haematological malignancies.

The hospital is contributing to national and international studies looking at cancer genetics, screening, surgical management, emerging treatments and methods of follow-up for most of the malignant conditions treated at the hospital.

Alison Ames, oncology research nurse, said: “Since 2003, the oncology research nurses have supported over 500 local patients who have taken part in cancer research.

“Over the last 12 months we have worked with a further 150 cancer patients who have decided to join a clinical trial as part of their treatment and care.

“Participation is always voluntary and very much an individual decision by the person concerned. Most of the research is charitably funded, with a large supporter being Cancer Research UK.

“We are currently taking part in a world-wide study of a certain type of breast cancer and are supporting the first patient in the UK to take part in this pivotal study, ahead of much larger institutes.

“Our involvement in such a groundbreaking study is a credit to everyone who works in and supports our team.”

She added that research nurses meet patients at all stages of their cancer journey, both at home and in the hospital, getting to know not only them but their families too in many cases.

Members of the team also work closely with their specialist nurse and clinician colleagues to care for these patients through what can sometimes be a difficult and uncertain time.

Janet Penny, who has worked at Scarborough Hospital for seven years as the hospital’s hairdresser, is one patient who is participating in a trial.

She explained: “In my role I work with chemotherapy patients and as a patient myself I have seen things from both sides.

“Without people taking part in trials the treatment would not be as good as it is. I felt that because my care had been so good I wanted to give something back and to do something to make it better for other people undergoing treatment in the future.”

As well as being involved in cancer research the trust is also involved in other areas of research including stroke, cardiac, gastro and multiple sclerosis research.