A question I hear a lot is “where does my donation go” or “with all the money that has been donated, how has a cure not been found yet?” The fact is that with over two hundred types of cancer, all behaving and reacting in different ways, a single cure for cancer is not possible. We will needs lots of cures. Lots of cures take time to research, test and produce. However charities make huge strides against cancer every year, especially Cancer Research UK, and it is hugely vital that we continue to donate what we can afford to help fund research into new ways to cure, treat and prevent cancer. I’m going to explain some of the facts and figures of the last financial year for CRUK in the hope that it will encourage more people to continue taking part in events and showing their generosity by supporting this wonderful charity.
Let me first explain that 80p of every £1 donated is spent on research. That is a huge amount and probably one of the best in the third sector.
£460 million was raised last year.
*£143 million was donated through Legacies
*£109 million was raised through Direct Giving
*£75 million was raised through Events
*£73 million was raised through Shops
*£40 million was raised through Partnerships and Volunteers
*£19 million was raised through Major Giving and Appeals
*£1 million was raised through Other Means.
9/10 donations are less than £10 which goes to show that every penny really does count and giving what you can afford, even if it isn’t a lot, really can make a huge difference.
£351 million was given to research institutes, hospitals and universities across the UK by Cancer Research UK last year.
£17 million was used to provide information for people affected by cancer, raise awareness of risks and symptoms and influencing health policy.
£128 million was spent on research and was split into cancer types:
*£41 million – Breast Cancer
*£32 million – Cervical, Kidney, Stomach, Testicular and over 100 more Cancer Types
*£27 million – Bowel Cancer
*£19 million – Prostate Cancer
*18 million – Leukaemia
*18 million – Skin Cancer
*£13 million – Lung Cancer
*£12 million – Ovarian Cancer
*£7 million – Non Hodgkins Lymphoma
*£6 million – Pancreatic Cancer
*£6 million – Oesophageal Cancer
*£6 million – Brain Cancer
*£5 million – Bladder Cancer
Four thousand researchers, doctors and nurses throughout the UK are funded with this money.
It goes towards:
Improving Treatments: Scientists are always searching for less invasive and kinder treatment options to improve the patients quality of life both during their illness and after. The aim is to find treatments that have fewer side effects but are still as powerful. For example:
*Research has shown that thyroid cancer can be treated just as well with a lower dose of radioactive iodine. This lower dose means that patients can continue taking Thyroxin which helps manage side effects and speeds up recovery.
*Scientists are currently researching whether or not chemotherapy before surgery can shrink bowel tumours enough to make them easier to remove and reduce the change of them returning.
Adapting Cancer Treatments: Sometimes it’s just a case of adapting an already established treatment to improve it or use it for something else. For example:
*Whilst over 70% of people survive rhabdomyosarcoma, most don’t respond to treatment should the cancer return. Research is being conducted to see if a drug originally developed to treat brain cancer can be used to help more people respond well to treatment if the cancer returns.
Combining Treatments: Sometimes treatments are found to be even more powerful when used together. For example:
*Professor Marais and his team have discovered that combining a lung cancer drug with an existing treatment may be able to provide more options for patients with malignant melanoma. They are planning to try this out on patients in the hopes of speeding up progress and helping more people survive malignant melanoma.
I hope this brief guide has shown you that a donation to Cancer Research UK, no matter how small, is very very worthwhile. Research is being conducted every single day and the money you donate is being put to good use! It is a long and complicated process but progress is made in small steps every single day and we are slowing edging towards the day when we can proclaim that cancer will soon be a thing of the past.
For more information on this please contact Cancer Research UK for a copy of their Annual Review (it can be downloaded from their website). It is a very interesting and informative read. www.canceresearchuk.org