Category: cancer

GLOW: Shining a light on breast cancer through fluorescence-guided surgery

Each year, there are approximately 55,200 new cases of breast cancer in the UK.

People with breast cancer face a host of different treatments including chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For the majority of people facing a breast cancer diagnosis, surgery to remove the cancerous tumour is their primary treatment, with people either undergoing breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy.

What’s it like to… be a cancer surgeon?

By Mr Daniel Leff, Consultant in Oncoplastic Breast Surgery at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Reader in Breast Surgery at Imperial College London

I became curious about surgery as a speciality in my final year of medical school training at Imperial. In my early post-graduate years, I finally decided upon a career in surgery when I witnessed the direct impact it had on improving patient outcomes. I relished the technical challenge of balancing the cancer surgery on one hand, with the need for high-quality aesthetic outcomes on the other.

5 ways our researchers are working to better spot and treat cancer

Cancer survival is improving and today, half of people diagnosed will survive their disease. This is thanks to research. Research that’s guiding governments to change their policies, underpinning awareness campaigns and educational initiatives, turning discoveries into treatments and prevention measures.

But there’s still much to be done to help more people survive, by catching the disease earlier and developing better treatments.

This World Cancer Day, and as part of our celebrations to mark IGHI’s 10th anniversary this year, find out how our researchers are working to make that happen. Join us in exploring some of our projects that could lead to better detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

How light can offer earlier detection and improved monitoring of cancer

By Dr Alex Thompson, Lecturer in sensing in cancer

World Cancer Day provides an opportunity both to celebrate the huge progress that has been made in the fight against cancer and to remember the challenges that lie ahead. While cancer survival has doubled in the UK over the last 40 years, the disease still causes more than one out of every four UK deaths.

A Marginal Call in Breast Cancer

By Mr Daniel Leff, Reader in Breast Surgery, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Faculty of Medicine  As we move towards the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month, it is important to celebrate the many success of breast cancer research and treatment  – whilst breast cancer may be common, more women than ever before are surviving thanks to earlier diagnosis and an improved understanding of the biology of breast cancer leading to more personalised medicine. That said, we still face major challenges. The one that is on the forefront of my mind is the “margins problem” once called the ‘hidden epidemic of breast cancer’.

Cholangiocarcinoma – the rare disease that’s on the increase

By Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson, Consultant Hepatologist and Professor of Translational Medicine at Imperial College London

Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare primary malignancy arising from cholangiocytes, the endothelial lining of the biliary ducts, with an incidence 2500 cases of per annum in the UK. The only option for cure is surgical resection, but cholangiocarcinoma usually presents late when it grows sufficiently to block the drainage of bile from the liver, presenting with jaundice. By this point it is often irresectable, and palliative management includes holding open the ducts with stents to prevent blockage, and chemotherapy. One-year survival is only 5%.

The incidence of this insidious disease is increasing, and earlier diagnosis and better treatment are urgently required.

We can, I can, this World Cancer Day

By Caitriona Tyndall, MSc. BSc, Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London.

The 4th of February is World Cancer Day. This is a day to remember and celebrate. Sadly cancer affects us all whether it’s personally or through our friends and family or work colleagues. In fact it’s estimated that 1 in 2 of us will be affected by cancer at some point in our lifetime. But in the face of this depressing statistic there is cause to celebrate. We can celebrate the people we know who have beaten cancer, celebrate the lives of those we have lost and celebrate the ground-breaking research being done by thousands of people across the UK and the world to help beat cancer sooner.

Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer: a Pathologist’s Perspective

By guest blogger, Dr Yu Zhi Zhang (Dennis), Clinical Research Fellow and Specialist Registrar in Histopathology at the National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London; on behalf of the National Centre for Mesothelioma Research (NCMR), National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI), Imperial College London

The 9th edition of the renowned Osler’s Textbook on the Principles and Practice of Medicine, published in 1921, dedicated only two (out of 1,139) pages to lung cancer, at which point the condition was described as “New Growths in the Lungs”. Almost a hundred years on, the patterns of epidemiology have shifted drastically, and lung cancer now is recognised as a major health problem globally with more than 1.8

Pharmacists – the new guardians of breast cancer care?

By guest blogger Chanice Henry, Editor, Pharma IQ

In the fight against one of the world’s most widespread diseases, new research has found that pharmacists are key in the optimisation of medical treatment for breast cancer patients.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer that occurs in women. In 2012 there were 1.7 million new diagnoses ­– which equated to 12% of all new cancer cases. Less than one per cent of breast cancer develops in males.

Despite its prevalence, death rates from this form of cancer have been consistently declining over the past 25 years due to better awareness and advancing treatment options.