Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and although 78% of patients survive more than 10 years, there are still 12,000 breast cancer related deaths each year. With 55,000 new cases a year and rising, the need to improve the treatment of breast cancer is more important than ever.

Since launching in 1993, Against Breast Cancer has raised millions of pounds, all through donations towards groundbreaking research to improve detection, treatment and increase survival rate after breast cancer diagnosis. Their unique focus on stopping secondary spread – which occurs in one in five patients and is the main cause of breast cancer related deaths – sets them apart from other breast cancer charities. We spoke with Against Breast Cancer’s head of fundraising, Kelly Gibson, to find out more.

The Facts of Breast Cancer:

  • Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK
  • There are 55,000 new cases each year
  • Secondary spread, which is the main cause of breast cancer related deaths, occurs in 1 in 5 breast cancer patients
  • 1 in 8 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 130 women receive a breast cancer diagnosis every day
  • 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year
  • 12,000 breast cancer related deaths every year in the UK (32 each day)
  • 78% breast cancer patients survive more than 10 years

Can you tell us more about Against Breast Cancer’s research on prevention, detection and therapies?

The ultimate goal of Against Breast Cancer is to stop secondary breast cancer from claiming lives. We fund research to improve detection, treatment and to increase survival after breast cancer diagnosis. We support some of the country’s best and brightest researchers working in some of the UK’s most respected academic institutions. Our research addresses how diet and lifestyle may increase or reduce the risk of secondary breast cancer developing, how to design better tools to enable earlier diagnosis of secondary breast cancer and how the body’s natural defences could be harnessed to design more effective treatments and ultimately a vaccine against breast cancer.

How can we support Against Breast Cancer in their cause?

There are many ways to support us and our vital research into secondary spread breast cancer:

  • Become a regular giver
  • Volunteer
  • Organise a fundraising event
  • Take in one of our events or challenges
  • Encourage your company to support by becoming a charity partner or signing up to payroll giving
  • Donate to our recycling department; bras, clothes, shoes, stamps, cartridge and mobile phones.
  • Shop on our website for our retail products or with one of our partners such a Savoo or eBay.
  • Leave a gift in your will

What types of fundraising events can people get involved with?

We have so many events and challenges for people to get involved with such as marathons and treks. Our flagship event is the Breast Walk Ever. We run three events a year and they are a full or half marathon walk or a 10k walk in Berkshire, Oxfordshire & Bath. Check out our website for full event listings.

What is the best piece of fundraising advice you could offer?

Support a cause you are passionate about and sign up for an event or challenge you enjoy. It will make the fundraising easier, and the training if necessary.

Can you tell us about your corporate partnerships and corporate fundraising?

We have many corporate partnerships and they are all bespoke. We are conscious to account manage each partnership individually to ensure both the company and the charity benefit. The most popular type of partner will involve a cause-related marketing campaign.

How can we support a colleague or loved one who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer?

We specialise in research. There are fantastic organisations who provide support for those living with breast cancer in the UK; the NHS offers good advice online and your GP will be able to put you in touch with local organisations and support groups.

However, many of our supporters are living with breast cancer. Some of them, and not all of them women, have been willing to share their stories and experiences in the hope it might educate and inform others in similar situations. These stories describe individual experiences of people living with breast cancer in Britain today and if they tell us anything, it is that no two experiences are the same.

If you know someone who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, don’t become a stranger to them, stay in touch. Talking can help them make sense of their situation and listening will help you to understand their needs better.

What advice can you give to people going through treatment?

To look after themselves – some find researching all the treatments useful, while others prefer to focus on themselves. We would again advise people to go to or contact a support group.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Breast cancer affects so many men and women and we are incredibly passionate about our research and our ultimate goal of finding a vaccine against breast cancer. We are very grateful to all of our supporters, without them we couldn’t fund this research, our final message should be of thank to all of them.