To date, we’ve already invested over £243 million in breast cancer research. And we’re not about to stop.
Right now, we’re funding over 80 cutting-edge projects worth just over £29 million to discover how we can prevent breast cancer, save lives, and help people to live well with and beyond the disease.
How do we fund research?
We fund world-class breast cancer research with the highest potential to benefit people at risk or affected by breast cancer. All our new research funding undergoes thorough review processes, carried out by independent experts from around the world.
Part of my job is to work with our scientific advisors and patient advocates to guide our trustees, to make sure that we choose the best possible research, which is going to have the biggest possible impact.
Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencing.
Research into breast cancer prevention
We know that at least 1 in 4 breast cancers could be prevented and we want to find better ways to do this. But first, we need to know who is most at risk of breast cancer and what we can do to prevent them from developing the disease.
Understanding the genetic and lifestyle causes of breast cancer through our Generations Study could help to more accurately determine someone’s personal chance of developing breast cancer.
Currently, I’m analysing data form wristband activity trackers. I’m particularly interested in answering questions on how the amount of physical activity changes with age, who exercises more and who doesn’t, and what the main barriers are. The longer-term goal is to be able to give advice on what the right amount of exercise is to reduce the risk of breast cancer
Dr Michael Jones, Senior Staff Scientist working on the Generations Study.
We are also running one of the world’s largest studies into breast cancer in men to uncover the genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that increase breast cancer risk in men.
We also want to find better prevention strategies that are easier to adopt and kinder risk-reducing drugs that don’t come with life-changing side effects.
Research to stop people dying from breast cancer
There are many areas we need to research to ensure that by 2050 everyone diagnosed with breast cancer will live. We need to find better ways to detect and diagnose breast cancer as early as possible. The earlier it’s detected the higher the chance of treating it successfully.
Our researchers are also looking for new treatments that can be better tailored to each type of breast cancer. They are trying to understand why breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body where it becomes incurable and what can be done to stop it or treat it more effectively.
My research is focused on understanding what drives triple negative breast cancers. If we understand what drives these breast cancers, we can give patients the treatment that is going to work and spare them from experiencing unnecessary side effects of treatments that won’t work. Overall, it would make treatment more effective, hopefully kinder, and could prevent people from dying from the disease.
Dr Niamh Buckley Breast Cancer Now Fellow, based at Queen’s University Belfast.
Research to help people live well
Breast cancer affects lives in many different ways. We want to help everybody living with, or beyond the disease to live well.
Our researchers are looking for kinder treatments for breast cancer, that don’t come with devastating side effects and investigating how people affected by breast cancer can be better supported all the way through.
This is the first study dedicated to preventing patients developing long-term fears of their cancer returning before they finish treatment. We hope that the study will also help further improve relationships and communications between patients and their medical staff, which is likely to improve their experience and quality of life after treatment.
Professor Gerry Humphris, Breast Cancer Now Researcher running the FORECAST-2 study.