World Cancer Day 2022

3rd February 2022

The 4th February is World Cancer Day. On this day across the globe, organisations come together, raise awareness and take action.

Guts UK is a proud founding charity member of the Less Survivable Cancers Taskforce (LSCT). The LSCT was set up by a group of charities all aiming to double survival rates of the 6 less survivable cancers by 2029. These are stomach, oesophageal, pancreatic, liver, brain & lung cancer.

Guts UK is the charity for the digestive system. We don’t stop at digestive diseases. Guts UK funds research into the most underfunded, misunderstood and deadliest digestive cancers too.

Stomach cancer

Guts UK is currently funding Dr Marnix Jansen’s research into stomach cancer. Dr Jansen’s work is exploring an alternative, more targeted way of taking biopsies (small samples of tissue) from the stomach. The team will then use cutting-edge technology to begin understanding more about the changes in DNA that occur. The more we can understand about these DNA changes, the closer we come to finding a cure.

“My husband was 64, a fit, healthy, daily dog walker. Tony suddenly began to get terrible indigestion that just wouldn’t shift. After many visits and dismissals from the GP, Tony was eventually diagnosed with stomach cancer. Before he passed away, we made the decision to marry and we went on a beautiful honeymoon. Please join me in supporting Guts UK by donating today. You can help prevent what happened to my Tony, from happening to others.” – Gill, Tony’s wife.



Oesophageal cancer

Guts UK is funding Dr Sara Jamel’s research who is looking at the possibility of a ‘breath-test’ to diagnose oesophageal cancer. Currently people with Barrett’s oesophagus have a routine endoscopy test where a small camera on a thin flexible tube looks at the lining of the oesophagus. The main research question is whether the cell changes in Barrett’s oesophagus can be detected by testing the breath of people with the condition. This will provide an easy and cost-effective way to identify people at high risk of having oesophageal cancer. If successful, this test could save lives by diagnosing oesophageal cancer earlier, when it is easier to treat.

“I was 57 years old when I started with indigestion, which I’d never had before. After being prescribed with tablets to reduce stomach acid production, I was still struggling with symptoms so I asked my GP to send me for a gastroscopy. Even though I had suspected that I had oesophageal cancer, it was still a shock to be told. Thankfully, I am still here almost a decade on from having oesophageal cancer. I know this sadly isn’t the case for many families, but I hope this helps to give others some hope” – Jennie.




Liver cancer

Guts UK is proud to fund Dr Salvatore Papa’s research into liver cancer. It is thought that our livers when damaged, can change the way it gains energy in order to cheat cell death. But these damaged cells can eventually generate tumours, becoming cancerous. Dr Papa’s team are looking to understand if it’s possibly to stop the liver changing the way it gains energy, in attempt to prevent cancerous cells from developing.

“Mum had just had a hip replacement so she was trying to exercise more and build strength. One day she did tell me her wee was dark, but we thought little of it, as she was still recovering from her operation.

A few weeks later mum was admitted to hospital with deep vein thrombosis. They ended up testing her liver as she started looking yellow (jaundice), and they found liver cancer.

We had all expected upsetting news, but we didn’t expect to be told mum’s cancer was terminal and she had a month to live. Mum died just 5 days later at 64 years old, surrounded by the whole family. She was chatting away and making us all laugh, right until the end” – Hayley, Kay’s daughter.

Only 3 in 20 people diagnosed with liver cancer in England survive their disease for 5 years or more. Guts UK wants to change this. Guts UK’s research has the potential to save lives, and give people a fighting change. Please consider giving £3 a month to Guts UK – together, we can help the UK get to grips with guts.

Other digestive cancers

Guts UK is currently funding research into other digestive cancers and diseases. Discover more of our research here.

By donating £3 a month to Guts UK, you can turn a scientists’ determination into life-changing discovery. Help the UK get to grips with guts today.

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