It is a pleasure to have been asked by Kaz, to write a blog post for the WCSUK website. Please allow us to introduce ourselves, we are Peaches Womb Cancer Trust, the first UK charity dedicated to research, awareness and improving the lives of those affected by womb cancer.
Earlier this year a group of researchers within the womb cancer team at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester had an idea to start up a charity dedicated to womb (endometrial) cancer following some incredibly generous donations offered to Professor Emma Crosbie to further her research. Unfortunately, these donations could not be accepted directly, but instead were kindly offered to the University of Manchester with whom Professor Crosbie has her chair. The donors were disappointed that the funds could not be protected specifically for womb cancer research. We realised that there was a significant gap in the charitable sector for a charity dedicated to womb cancer…and so Peaches Womb Cancer Trust was created.
The team at Peaches Womb Cancer Trust consists of Dr Chloe Barr, Dr Helen Clarke, Professor Crosbie, Dr Eleanor Jones, Dr Helena O’Flynn and Anne Lowry. We are a dedicated team of Gynaecologists, a General Practitioner and a Gynaecological Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist. In addition, we also have a non-medical trustee, Rosemary Pike, who is a retired solicitor. On the whole, we are active translational researchers and healthcare professionals – this means our clinical research directly impacts patient care.
Why have we set up Peaches Womb Cancer Trust?
For such a common disease, there is a distinct lack of public awareness of womb cancer and many people have never heard of it. There is also comparatively little research dedicated to womb cancer. One of our main aims is to raise funds to further research into womb cancer, principally for the research undertaken within the womb cancer team at the University of Manchester. This research group, led by Professor Crosbie focuses its efforts on the prevention, early detection and treatment of womb cancer. In doing so, it also supports the careers of budding gynaecological oncologists and researchers.
The research team has several ongoing studies looking into the use of non-invasive tests for the early diagnosis of womb cancer, with the aim that one day these might be able to be used within GP surgeries. They are also developing womb cancer risk prediction tools that will identify those at higher risk of womb cancer who might benefit from prevention strategies. Over the last few years, there have been an increasing number of younger women diagnosed with womb cancer, and the womb cancer research team are looking into more conservative treatments so that these women might keep their womb and have children in the future. Last year, as a direct result of their extensive research into the inherited condition Lynch syndrome, which increases the risk of womb and bowel cancer, changes have been made in national guidelines regarding screening for Lynch syndrome in women diagnosed with womb cancer, having a huge impact on their future health and the health of their families.
Then Covid-19 happened…
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, many of our research team were called back into full-time clinical work. Because of this, both our research and our progress with setting up Peaches Womb Cancer Trust temporarily stalled. Dr Clarke had previously volunteered to run the Manchester 10K in May for Peaches Womb Cancer Trust, but this was cancelled owing to the pandemic. However, in an attempt to protect both mental and physical health during lockdown, Dr Clarke still ran her own version of the Manchester 10K, albeit around the canal tow paths and roads of Cheshire instead. A JustGiving page for the run attracted huge support and she raised a staggering £1155! This gave Peaches Womb Cancer Trust the vital initial funds required to set up a website and email address and to get ready for our official launch in September 2020.
The team are all now back into our clinical research roles and are busily working to build the profile of Peaches Womb Cancer Trust. We have decided to continue with our planned launch during September 2020, which is gynaecological cancer awareness month. Due to Covid-19 the launch will have to be virtual, but this has not dampened our enthusiasm
We were absolutely delighted when Womb Cancer Support UK reached out to us, kindly offering to donate funds raised to our charity. This will be used in awareness and patient support projects and will enable us to begin our work in earnest. We were already aware of the amazing work that WCSUK does to provide a vital support service to patients and we hope to have a long and prosperous relationship with WCSUK. We are a new charity with visions to expand our role and purpose as we grow over the coming years and your support at this early stage of our journey is so greatly appreciated.
We thank you so much for your interest in and support of Peaches Womb Cancer Trust. We look forward to meeting many of you over the coming years at one of our many anticipated events.
With very best wishes and thanks from all of us at Team Peaches!
Peaches Womb Cancer Trust are on social media at these links
Email : email@example.com
Website - peachestrust.org