I’m lucky enough to be a trustee of a very special charity: the Rarer Cancers Forum/The Rarer Cancers Foundation (RCF). The RCF was launched in 2001 as the Rarer Cancers Forum, but changed its name to the Rarer Cancers Foundation in 2010, to because it offers more than just an online forum and helpline. The RCF is the voice of people with rare and less common cancers. Research suggests that up to 52% of all cancers diagnosed could be classified as ‘rarer’, either because it affects an unusual site in the body, or because the cancer itself is of an uncommon type, is difficult to diagnose, or requires special treatment.
The most striking feature of a rarer cancer from a patient’s point of view, however, is that they will often feel isolated and confused. Their GP may know very little about the condition, it may be difficult to find accurate information about the prognosis or the effect of treatment. Sometimes it can be an uphill struggle even gaining access to the best care.
The RCF provides up to date information on rarer cancers and treatment options; enables supportive networking for patients, carers and clinicians; directs patients to further avenues of support and information; raises awareness, gives a ‘voice’ to forgotten cancers and promotes patient advocacy; produces information literature for patients and also for healthcare professionals; and last, but by no means least, it produces reports and campaigns at government level to secure the best possible patient journey for people living with rarer cancers.
You can help by: becoming a member of the RCF; offering to be a supportive contact for a patient with a cancer similar to yours; making a donation; encouraging your organisation to become a corporate partner; taking part in one of their challenge events; helping to organise a fundraising event; leaving a gift in your will.
Currently, inequalities in the care and support of cancer patients across the UK can be due to where the patient lives, how long it takes to achieve a diagnosis and the availability of treatments. All have an huge effect on a patient’s quality of life as well as on their prognosis.
“2012 saw some fantastic people support the RCF across the globe! ‘From the Comrade’s Marathon in South Africa, the World Triathlon Championships in Auckland, to trekking the Inca Trail. Closer to home we had runners in the British London Nightriders who cycled 100km around London at night, and individuals who took on their own challenges, from skydiving to the 3 peaks challenge to the messy Major South event. One patient organised a fabulous golf day in Ellon, Aberdeenshire; a company organised a 10K race in Windsor Great Park; a garden centre hosted a series of cookery demonstrations; a yacht club held a charity regatta – plus many other super events, too many to mention.
Whether you raised money, made a trust donation, remembered a family member or friend in a gift, volunteered at an event, supported friends and family or sponsored an event participant – all your support is so very much appreciated.
A huge THANK-YOU to you all.”
-Rose Woodward & Julia Black – The Rarer Cancer Patient Support Team (taken from the RCR Christmas Newsletter)
Will you run or ride for Rarer Cancers in 2013? – you can walk too! Challenge yourself and help those facing the biggest challenge of their lives
There is a range of events to choose from this year.
To take part in any of our events or for further information, just call Debbie de Boltz on 0208 692 2910 or 07889 726269 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For support and information contact
Specialist nurses helpline 0800 334 5551