Friday, 15 July 2011

Friday, 15th July - Cancer Research UK

More literature from the Race for Life today!! I wish they'd spend their money on research instead of being my penfriend! However, it did turn out to be apt in the end as I offered two tickets to the Rhythms of the World Festival to my friend who lives near to the venue. I asked if they'd like to give a donation to charity rather than paying me, and they chose Cancer Research UK.

Cancer Research UK's history dates back to the turn of the 20th century. Back then, there were few treatments for cancer, and even fewer that were effective.

But cancer wasn't the major cause of death - assuming it was correctly diagnosed. That dubious honour went to infectious diseases such as smallpox, measles and typhus.

But our scientists were still working hard, starting to understand cancer and how to treat it. Here are some highlights of their pioneering work.

Thanks to improved public health and vaccination - discounting the devastating impact of two World Wars - life expectancy rose through the first half of the 20th century. Because the risk of cancer increases with age, cancer rates also rose.

Due to a lack of refrigeration and poor living conditions, stomach cancer was relatively common and claimed many lives. Since the 1950s, death rates have fallen consistently from around 45 deaths in every 100,000 men in 1950 to around 9 today, while rates in women have fallen from 25 to only 4 in every 100,000.

Back to top Back to the beginning In July 1902 the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians, concerned about the suffering caused by cancer, set up the UK's first specialist cancer research organisation. It later becomes known as the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF)

In the 1920s a group of doctors and scientists decided they want to focus more heavily on clinical research rather than the fundamental lab research in progress at the ICRF.

Controversially, they formed a new charity, later renamed The Cancer Research Campaign. Decades later, the two organisations would merge, forming Cancer Research UK.

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