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Health Sciences

Southampton scientist supports Breast Cancer Campaign by attending event hosted by Samantha Cameron

Published: 6 February 2013

Dr Claire Foster, a breast cancer scientist working at the University of Southampton, attended a Number 10 Downing Street reception hosted by Samantha Cameron, for research charity Breast Cancer Campaign.

The charity used the reception to launch its new project that will transform the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for women with breast cancer.

The event brought together Dr Foster with fellow breast cancer experts, women living with breast cancer and high profile supporters touched by the disease including presenter Kirstie Allsopp, singers Beverley Knight and Linda Nolan, Breast Cancer Campaign Patron Dame Jenni Murray and comediennes Olivia Lee and Morwenna Banks.

Leading research charity Breast Cancer Campaign, which celebrates its 25th birthday this year, is launching its Breast Cancer Gap Analysis 2013 to identify the research gaps that need filling in order to accelerate research and detect ground-breaking new ways to unlock the cure for the tens of thousands of women treated for breast cancer every year.

During the Downing Street event Mrs Cameron spoke of the devastating impact that breast cancer has and the growing statistics that can't be ignored. Since the early eighties, incidence of breast cancer has increased by nearly 60% in the UK, with more women than ever diagnosed every year. 

The new project follows on from the success of the charity's first Gap Analysis, in 2006, which identified a shortage of breast cancer tissue that scientists vitally needed to translate research quickly and effectively to patients.

Breast Cancer Campaign responded to this by creating its Tissue Bank, the first in the UK to address the need and provide thousands of samples to scientists throughout the UK and Ireland. 

Dr Foster said, "It was an enormous privilege to attend the Breast Cancer Campaign reception hosted by Samantha Cameron at 10 Downing Street. As a member of Breast Cancer Campaign's Scientific Advisory Board and chair of the Gap Analysis working group focusing on 'Living with and managing consequences of breast cancer and its treatment' I was delighted to be able to talk to guests about the types of research Breast Cancer Campaign has supported in this area. 

"At the University of Southampton researchers have been funded by the Campaign to understand more about living with joint aches and pains after treatment and a second team has been funded to investigate experiences of living with advanced breast cancer. It is so important that funding is available to allow researchers to explore these areas to provide evidence for the impact of breast cancer on the lives of women and their families.

"This evidence can inform resources and care to prepare future patients for what to expect and also inform the development and testing of health services and other forms of support for women and their families. The type of research can make a real difference to the lives of women with breast cancer." 

Breast Cancer Campaign's Chief Executive Baroness Delyth Morgan, speaking at the event at Downing Street said: "When Breast Cancer Campaign was set up 25 years ago breast cancer was a disease that we knew little about; still a taboo subject publically, despite being something that mothers, daughters and sisters lost their lives to. 

"Significant progress has been made but there are critical gaps in research and opportunities to translate research breakthroughs are still being missed that we vitally need for women with breast cancer. The Gap Analysis 2013 sees a hundred international scientists across the UK joining forces to overcome barriers and speed up the journey to a cure. 

"Mrs Cameron's support in the fight against breast cancer could not be more timely, giving hope to the millions of people affected by the disease; family, friends and loved ones." 

The results of Breast Cancer Campaign's Gap Analysis 2013 will be published in autumn this year.

For more information visit and @BCCampaign.
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