Around 33,300 people a year are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire and The Humber.*
The same number of people could fill Leeds’ First Direct Arena to capacity more than twice over. Research into the best ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease has never been more vital - but it requires funding.
Our pioneering work across the UK, including right here in Yorkshire, benefits from the generosity of supporters leaving a gift to Cancer Research UK in their Will. In fact, legacy gifts fund a third of our research.
Breast cancer research
Dr Denis Alferez is a researcher funded by Cancer Research UK:
“I am interested in understanding how triple negative breast cancer – the most aggressive type of breast cancer – develops and how it spreads to other organs. I am investigating several of the biological markers that allow this type of cancer to grow and spread to other organs.”
“My inspiration to go into cancer research came while in high school and we learnt how leukaemia affects many people, especially kids. I never really gave it much thought, what blood did as an organ, I saw it in a very simplistic manner, just delivering oxygen and nutrients like a river,” Dr Alferez added.
£6m spent in Yorkshire
In 2020/21, Cancer Research UK spent nearly £6m on world-leading research in Yorkshire. The Sheffield Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) and the Leeds paediatric ECMC, which are jointly supported by the National Institute for Health Research in England, bring together lab scientists and cancer doctors from local NHS trusts and universities to speed up the flow of ideas and new treatments from the lab to the clinic.
Yorkshire is also home to the Leeds Clinical Trials Unit, delivering innovative and practice-changing clinical research that impacts the care and outcomes for cancer patients in the UK and across the world.
Gifts in Wills are vital because they help enable long-term research projects that could ultimately lead to new treatments for cancer. They allow us to keep on making progress and continue to help people live longer, healthier lives for generations to come.
Funding from gifts in Wills means a lot to researchers like Dr Alferez: “Funding is very important and provides access to innovative, world-leading facilities, equipment and expert scientific staff which are required for our type of work. Personally, it gives me an immense sense of respect and satisfaction to know that what I do can help understand aspects of this disease that touches many lives in the UK. Professionally, it gives me an insight of all the work that has preceded me; it is truly humbling and exciting for what is yet to be discovered.”
2022 marks 20 years since Cancer Research UK was formed. In that time, we’ve made huge strides together. We’ve come so far. And we will go much further.
Dr Alferez has high hopes for the future of cancer treatment:
“The dedication of scientists, clinicians and nurses, plus the innovation in many techniques, in the next five or 10 years we will see many medical achievements changing how many cancers will be defeated.”
“I pledge to keep looking into the future, so that one day cancer will be completely surmountable.”
1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our lifetime**. Your support can fund the research that will beat it.
12,143*** supporters in Yorkshire have pledged to leave a gift in their Will to Cancer Research UK. Join with them to help us fund pioneering researchers like Dr Alferez and make cancer as we know it a thing of the past.
Together we will beat cancer
To get your free Gifts in Wills guide, visit cruk.org/pledgeyorkshire
* Based on the annual number of new cases of all cancers combined excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (ICD10 C00-C97 excluding C44) diagnosed in the Yorkshire and the Humber Region of England in 2019.
Source: NCRAS (part of NHS Digital) Cancer registration statistics, England, 2019.
**Ahmad A.S. et al. British Journal of Cancer, 2015
***This figure relates to all gifts in Wills from this area up to 2019/20