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An update from Bridgwater & District Friends of Cancer Research UK

The media are always telling us about new cancer treatments and there is a good reason for this. Cancer research is moving faster now than it has ever done before. It started with the mapping of DNA but there are advances in other areas as well. There is a new front around immunotherapy, a long word which basically means encouraging the immune system to do more to beat cancer. There is also Ultrsound which can now destroy tumours without the need for surgery.

There are a host of other things being developed that will make it easier to detect cancer, easier to treat it and reducing those unpleasant side effects.

Cancer Research UK is at the forefront of all this research. It is doing research work on more types of cancer than any other UK cancer charity.

Now a lot of this research is being done in places like London and Birmingham. But there is some research being done closer to Bridgwater. The nearest large Cancer Research centre is at Cardiff University. There you have Professor Awen Gallimore. She is developing ways of delivering the body's immune cells right into the centre of tumours. Dr Matt Smalley is another Cardiff doctor who is developing ways of distinguishing the "signatures" of different types of breast cancer so that treatments can be targeted more effectively. Professor Alan Burnett has been running the world's biggest trials of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia treatments at Cardiff. Also, Professor Malcom Mason did a series of trials that did a lot to improve the treatment of prostate cancer.

Now, of course, all this research requires funding, funding which comes from the public, there is no government funding available.

How can you help? Perhaps consider setting up a Standing Order with the Bridgwater Friends of Cancer Research UK. It is easy enough to do. You just have to go to your local bank or set it up using your internet banking login. Tell them what you want to do. Tell them how much you want to give, and how often - it is usually once a month. These are the details, Sort Code 30-91-20 and Account Number 00622718

You then have the satisfaction of knowing that you have done your bit to save the lives of countless people. And you are not only helping people who are alive now, you will also be helping people for decades to come, indeed possibly for centuries to come.

There are also a few local events you might like to attend in December:

1st December we will be running a sale in Angel Place, lots of Christmas cards, gifts and crafts.

2nd December there will be a Christmas Bazaar at Bridgwater & Albion RFC

7th December there is Christmas Bingo at St Georges Hall

23rd December we will be collecting in Westonzoyland with the Santa carnival cart.

For more information about our fundraising events, how you can get involved or other ways to make donations, please visit

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