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'Selfie' help for cancer charity

A trend for posting 'no make-up selfies' is benefitting Cancer Research UK to the tune of £2 million. ,

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Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh has joined the campaign Credit: Cancer Research UK

The charity, which has its research centre in Cambridge, has seen an "unprecedented" increase in donations. The online campaign started a week ago, asking women to post selfies wearing no make-up, and men to wear as much as they like!!!

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Model Amy Willerton's selfie Credit: Cancer Research UK
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Men are being encouraged to join in too!! Credit: Cancer Research UK

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Routine test for risk of common cancers is close

Scientists in Cambridge say they could be only five years away from delivering a routine test that tells us how likely we are to get common cancers.

It follows their discovery of more genetic causes of the disease.

And they hope that by understanding the causes of cancer better, they may get closer to discovering cures, as Elodie Harper reports.

Cancer risk test could boost screening programme

Research by Cambridge scientists could lead to routine tests for patients genetic risk of cancer within five years.

The study compared the DNA of more than 100,000 cancer patients with a similarly sized sample from the general population.

They used microchip technology capable of identifying more than 200,000 genetic variants, some of which were suspected of being linked to cancer.

More than 1,000 scientists from 130 institutions in Europe and the US took part in the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (Cogs).

We're on the verge of being able to use our knowledge of these genetic variations to develop tests that could complement breast cancer screening and take us a step closer to having an effective prostate cancer screening programme

– Professor Doug Easton - Cancer Research UK

Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, which co-funded the research, said:

This groundbreaking international work highlights how complex cancer is.

Hundreds, if not thousands of genes are likely to play a role in how cancers start.

But by understanding why some people seem to be at greater risk of developing cancer we can look towards an era where we can identify them and take steps to reduce their chances of getting cancer or pick up the disease at its earliest stages."

GPs could perform test for cancer risk in five years

Scientists at Cancer Research UK in Cambridge Credit: PA

GPs could be routinely testing patients for genetic risk of cancer within five years following a landmark study by Cambridge scientists.

The biggest investigation of its kind ever carried out has greatly multiplied the number of known genetic markers linked to breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.

In future, the results may make it possible to single out individuals with a potentially lethal hand of genetic cards using a simple saliva test.

They can then be monitored closely for the first signs of developing cancer, or - in the most high risk cases - be offered preventative treatment.

Experts believe the cheap and easy tests could be conducted in family doctors' surgeries.

Samples would initially be sent off to laboratory specialists, but eventually GPs could be doing the analysis themselves.

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Cancer risk in men to reach 1 in 2

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Scientists working at the Cambridge Research Institute Credit: PA

A new study, partly carried out at the Cambridge Research Institute, says men's lifetime risk of developing cancer is set to reach one in two in the UK by 2027.

Cancer Research UK** is launching a new awareness and fundraising campaign with a TV advert that will go live on Boxing Day.**

The ad features Jason Carroll from the Cambridge Research Institute, and can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWuyPi_nuJE&feature=youtu.be

Women's lifetime cancer risk is also increasing and is predicted to rise from 40 to 44 out of every 100 women by 2027.**

The projected increase is largely due to the fact that people are living longer and cancer is predominantly a disease of old age. But thanks to research, survival rates have doubled in the past 40 years and more people in East Anglia are now beating the disease than ever before. **

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