Category Archives: Events

Europa Donna gets things done

Europa Donna 

Encourages good practice across Euwith 

for women with Breast Cancer

Details October Conference

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Strawberry Tea to raise funds for Cancer – an inexpensive way to entertain

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Nottingham Events



from 5.30pm in ‘A’ Floor CLASSROOM – SCHOOL OF NURSING

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Europa Donna is 20 years old

And Celebrates with a partyeudonna-4452f

Founded to spread the word about good care and treatment for Breast Cancer  across Europe, the organisation has now spread right across the Continent and into neighbouring countries -from Albania to Uzbekistan:  over 40 and increasing/
Their events are always interesting:  this is where one can go to meet the top “breast cancer” brains, with no country barriers.  Members are only concerned with what is best for care, and talking to their officers is a refreshing change from  the UK docs looking down their noses at me! when I mentioned I had heard about certain treatment in another country,
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Mary Berry fans – get baking for cancer

 Making money for charity



German chocolate cake from a bakery

Aga-Queen Mary Berry has enticed us back into the kitchen.  Fans of this delightful cook(she doesn’t swear or flirt with the camera – perhaps that’s why she is so popular?) have been encouraged back into the kitchen, to revive long-lost cookery skills.

Why not follow the trend, and bake for charity?  Marie Curie’s Blooming Great Tea Party, or Breast Cancer Care’s Strawberry Tea, Prostate Cancer’s Tea for Victory, the Yorkshire Tea Party and Mad Hatter Tea Parties – there is something for everyone, and all for cancers.

Tea Parties are one of easiest and cheapest ways of entertaining friends, and raising Continue reading

Stand Up 2 Cancer

English: Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2011 Venice Fi...

YOU made a difference


Cancer Research UK have announced that they raised



from their recent TV Show.

However, they are still having donations coming in, ” so we can’t say exactly how much we have raised, we only have the amount raised from the Friday show”.


Television, music and film stars came together in a national fundraising event to get us all donating in the fight against cancer.

The nice thing about organisers Cancer Research UK (CRUK)  is that they say thank you – see this video they have released:

What you can still do

CRUK need YOUR support.   Unlike in the States, they haven’t the funds to pay for massive advertising to alert everyone to what is happening.

You can do your bit by

  • getting your local Pub to run a fund-raising evening to watch the Telethon on the 19th
  • get your office or workplace to organise a collection
  • get friends together to fundraise

and this will help CRUK raise a record amount to zap cancer on the head.

What’s happening

Bringing together a unique mix of entertainment, science and fundraising, a super-sized group of celebrities will come together to show their support for SU2C UK, including: The Simpsons, Tom Daley, Kylie Minogue, Leona Lewis, Cheryl Cole, Jonnie Peacock, Emeli Sande, Jenson Button, JLS, Jimmy Carr, Jack Whitehall, Anna Friel, The Cast of 8 out of 10 Cats, The English National Ballet, Martin Freeman, Miranda Hart, Simon Bird, and David Haslehoff in a mixture of live appearances and specially recorded messages.

Alan Carr revealed: “Pretty much everyone will be affected by this disease in their lifetime, and that’s the very simple reason why I’m honoured to be involved with this campaign. Like so many people, I’ve seen exactly how destructive the big C is. I’ve lost two people already this.

Since Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) began in the USA in 2008, it has raised more than £100 million for cancer research.

WHAT you can do

Start to plan ahead for the Telethon next year.

Ask you local Pub if they will host an evening nexg year.

As Gwyneth Paltrow says: “Like so many people all over the world, I know what it’s like to lose a loved one to cancer; it took my Dad in the prime of his life. Stand Up To Cancer has the power to revolutionise the way we fight this disease, by uniting doctors, scientists and patients in groundbreaking research. This special broadcast will mark a wonderful milestone as SU2C evolves into a true global movement.”

Dr Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, says: “It’s not just technology or knowledge that we need to win our fight to beat cancer – it’s funding – and every pound we raise is a step closer to achieving our goal to beat this disease.

We are entering the ‘golden age’ of cancer research – but each and every one of us can stand up and make a difference right now to come together to raise vital funds for clinical research, accelerate progress and ultimately save more lives.”

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National Cancer Outcomes Conference

National Cancer Intelligence Network


The N.C.I.N. organised this conference, which was held at Birmingham’s N.E.C,.

This was a brave attempt at involving patients and professionals equally.  However, it did prove that medical professionals may pay lip service to ‘involving’ patients, but often, in reality, have difficulty in addressing this issue.

Paying lip service
The aim of the conference was laudable;  patients were to be treated as equals.  In fact, we were even given free accommodation and free travel if we were a genuine patient.

However, the professionals were still being condescending, and not quite up to sharing information equally.

But patients are used to this, and we all got useful information from the event.  Out of around 500 delegates, probably one fifth were patients, so we weren’t overwhelmed!

Speakers were generally excellent, and as other delegates confirmed, they didn’t ‘talk down’ to us. They spoke enthusiastically, and didn’t use too much jargon!

Ray Murphy, Chairman of the National Cancer Partnership Forum kicked off with the chilling statement :

“we needed to save 5,000 liver patients’ lives a year just to keep up with Europe”.

Dr. Mick Peake, from the N. C.I.N. said there was a need to enthuse doctors to use cancer data to change clinical practice as it is currently.

As Dr. Natalie Blencower stated, when she gave an excellent presentation about outcomes and why they are important to patients AND surgeons, a recent survey had found that “patients were still not receiving enough information”.

What’s happening in Europe?
Proving that the N.C.I.N. are not only concerned about the EU’s better cancer outcomes, but were keen to do something about it – a major session saw Dr Jane Hanson, Lead Advisor for Cancer, Welsh Government & Head of Cancer National Specialist Advisory Group Core Team, introduce a session entitled  ‘Towards a European cancer information system; the EUROCOURSE project and beyond”.

This was followed by presentations from Harry Comber, Director, Irish National Cancer Registry on ‘ Cancer survival in Europe’: “first results from the EUROCARE-5 study.

Dr Roberta De Angelis, Senior Researcher, National Centre of Epidemiology, Italian National Institute of Health talked about ‘The International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP),  and Dr Martine Bomb, Programme Manager, Cancer Research UK  gave the UK perspective.

These were all excellent speakers, but one couldn’t help wishing that more time had been allotted, to enable the very interested audience to have an opportunity to ask questions and get a good dialogue going.  A packed room was filled with delegates eager to ask questions – but sadly not enough time to get them out.

One piece of information that was flashed onto the screens was a slide showing where  research was being carried out in Europe:

10 work packages have been produced, covering

  1. WP1 Exchange of knowledge about national programmes
  2. WP2 Ethical conduct of research
  3. WP3 Tools for improving the quality, coverage and use of cancer registration data in Europe
  4. WP4 The development, harmonization, analysis and exchange of European cancer registry data
  5. WP5 Interface of cancer registries with cancer screening programmes
  6. WP6 Interface of cancer registries with clinical care
  7. WP7 Interface of cancer registries with biobanks
  8. WP8 Dissemination of findings and training
  9. WP9 European cancer control summit
  10. WP10 Coordination of EUROCOURSE activities

Perhaps next year there might be more time to discuss these work packages, and a hand-out giving contact details?

Poster Displays

Whilst browsing this very interesting and colourful display, I came across Marina Raime, the lively founder of Betterdays cancer care.  Marina went to the States and took one of their Patient Navigation courses, and is now running a programme in London – supported by Lambeth, Southark and other NHS offices.  Let’s hope this programme receives a lot of support, as we could certainly do with the survivorship assistance that seems to be the norm in the U.S.A. or at King’s College: 


It is not acceptable in this day and age for the catering at a conference dealing with cancer, to go against al the advice to eat healthily, organically, etc.

At breakfast, a casual remark to the waiter “are the eggs free range?”, bought out
an embarrassed, “no, we don’t serve free-range eggs any more.

It was difficult during the main meals to find free-range chicken meat either – instead there were bland palid looking main dishes – which cried out for herbs.

Neither is it acceptable in this day and age for the Maintenance crew to spend more time in guests’ bedrooms than the paying guest.  The final straw in my room, where I had almost got used to sharing the room with the friendly maintenance man, was to have to call the poor man yet again as water was dripping loudly on my carpet and soaking the area.

I can’t help feeling that a professional organiser might be usefully employed – ordinary delegates to professional conferences demand better facilities and services for their payments – but when a charity or the NHS is picking up the tab – perhaps standards are allowed to drop.  Even though, from comments from staff, it didn’t seem that this conference had got any cheap deals.

Certainly a normal ‘business’ hotel wouldn’t get away with charging £15 PER DAY for Internet access in a delegate’s room.

On Friday evening after the conference was over, a local friend took me to a superb hotel near-by: Hampton Manor, to show me what could be done for the same basic costs.  She works in conference and exhibition organising, so knows what’s what.

Hampton Manor provided a superb meal – and I noticed all the a la carte menu prices were less than those in the Hilton’s main restaurant.  Yes, organisers would have negotiated a cheap deal but basic prices are ones which to work from when negotiating.

Prices at this hotel were a rack rate of £150 per night – although they had special deals
from £85.  Sadly it would be too small for a major conference, but if they can do it – why
not search for other hotels that can deliver same superb service?

But as usual Virgin Trains had come up with excellent deals, and speaking to others with disabilities, we had welcomed the way there always seems a cheerful staff member on hand to help with luggage – much appreciated!

The next Cancer Outcomes Conference will take place on the 13th and 14th June, 2013..

National Cancer Intelligence Network  (NCIN)

18th Floor, Portland House,

Bressenden Place



Phone: 020 8282 6258

Fax: 020 7869 8191



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It's Strawberry time!

Hold a Strawberry tea

Fragaria × ananassa 'Chandler,' a short-day co...

Yummy ( Wikipedia)

for Charity


In Britain, it’s a fun and easy way to support Breast Cancer Care.  An idea that can be copied anywhere.

Who doesn’t love strawberries, especially as they look so colourful. So why not organise a Strawberry Tea?

What about having a Tea in your hospital Reception? Then everyone can have fun – patients, visitors and staff!!

Or organise a tea at home.  With a Strawberry Tea, you have the perfect excuse to catch up with old friends and tuck into delicious treats, all the while raising money for a great cause. And it doesn’t matter if you raise £20 or £200 because every penny helps charity continue to support anyone affected by breast cancer.

Somehow the word ‘strawberries’ grabs everyone’s attention!  Get together with friends and family, buy or bake some cakes, add some strawberries, put the kettle on and away you go

Last year thousands of people teamed up with Breast Cancer Care and held Strawberry Teas across the UK – in back gardens, at work or in town halls.

How to raise money from your event

It can be as simple or as elaborate as you like.

Have a tea break at work – bring a smile to your colleagues’ faces by bringing in baked goodies and putting the kettle on.

Get your club involved – if you are member of a sports club, you could have a Strawberry Tea in the pavilion or club house.

Craft – are you good with a pair of knitting needles? Then you could create items to sell or raffle at your Strawberry Tea.

School – children love an excuse to get messy, so why not get them baking or making decorations for your Strawberry Tea.

Charge for cake – people are always happy to pay for a slice or two.

Spread the word – why not Tweet about your event? #StrawberryTea


Join us – find out what everyone else is up to for their Strawberry Tea via Breast Cancer Care’s Facebook page.

Sell tickets or charge an entry fee to your party.

Run a raffle – ask guests or local businesses to donate prizes.

Play the game – use the Strawberry Tea game or Afternoon Tea quiz in our resources section.

Guess the weight of the cake – this classic game is always popular and the winner takes the cake home!

Boss’s tea round – ask your boss to be on tea making duty for the day, with donations given for each cup.

Market stall – a craft, cake or plant stall can be held almost anywhere.

Sell Breast Cancer Care pin badges – you can order some from their resources section.

visit our ideas section for some great tips.

Have a look at our celebrity recipes section?

We have a host of resources and materials in our resources section to make your Strawberry Tea as simple and successful as possible.

Crafty Tip

To make strawberries taste old-fashioned, sprinkle them with Cointreau or any orange liqueur.  I learnt this at the Ritz Hotel in Paris (as one does);  complimenting them on the really intense taste, just like I remembered the fruit as a child, they let me into the secret that they used a tablespoon or two to soak them!   You can buy a miniature of Cointreau for about a couple of pounds.
Classic Victoria sandwich cake
Who can resist this Great British favourite especially when filled with softly whipped cream and home-grown juicy strawberries?

Serves 8

Strawberry Cake created and photographed by &q...

Strawberry Cake ( Wikipedia)

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


For the Victoria cake

175 g (6 oz) butter, at room temperature

175 g (6 oz) caster sugar

Grated rind of 1 lemon

175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 medium eggs, beaten



150 g (5 oz) strawberries, hulled, sliced

3 tablespoons strawberry jam

150 ml (1/4 pint) double cream

4 strawberries to decorate, halved, hulls left on

Little strawberry sugar, see tip or caster sugar

1      Preheat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas Mark 4.  Lightly brush the base and sides of 2, 20 cm (8 inch) Victoria sandwich tins with a little oil then line the bases with 2 circles of non-stick baking paper the same as the base of the tins.

2      Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon or in an electric mixer until light and fluffy then stir in the lemon rind.

3      Sift the flour and baking powder on to a plate. Gradually beat alternate spoonfuls of beaten egg and flour into the creamed butter mixture until smooth, continue until all the eggs and flour have been added.

4      Divide the mixture between the tins, spread level with a round bladed knife then cook on the middle shelf in the oven for about 20 minutes until well risen, golden brown and the cake springs back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. Allow to cool for a few minutes then loosen the edges of the cakes with a round bladed knife and turn out on to a large wire rack. Peel off the lining paper then turn cakes back up the other way and leave to cool completely.

5      Mix the sliced strawberries with the jam, if the jam is very set, warm briefly in the microwave before adding the strawberries. Softly whip the cream. Transfer one of the cakes to a serving plate. Top with spoonfuls of the cream then the strawberry jam mix. Carefully lift the top cake in place, arrange the halved strawberries on top and sprinkle with sugar. Serve cut into wedges.

Cut throats!

As kids we grew up on Devon/Somerset borders, and there we always called scones and cream Cut Throats (I suppose after the blood-red strawberry jam!).  The only variation we were allowed was to cut open a scone, spread with cream, then top with real strawberries rather than jam.


Baby strawberry mousses

Serves 8

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Chilling time: 3-4 hours

625g (1 lb 6oz) strawberries

3 limes, grated rind only

3 tablespoons runny honey

4 tablespoons water

3 teaspoons powdered gelatine

250 ml (8 fl oz) double cream

250 g (8 oz) low fat natural yogurt

Extra small strawberries to decorate plus tiny biscuits, optional

1      Puree 225 g (8 oz) of the strawberries then press through a sieve and reserve for decoration.  Puree the remaining strawberries, sieve then mix the puree with the lime rind and honey.

2      Add the water to a small heatproof bowl, sprinkle the gelatine over the water so that the water absorbs all the powder. Leave to stand for 5 minutes heat the bowl in a small saucepan of simmering water until it is a clear liquid.

3      Whip the cream until it forms soft swirls. Fold in the yogurt, pureed strawberry and lime mix then the gelatine in a thin trickle. Pour into 8, 120 ml (4 fl oz) small liqueur glasses or coffee cups. Chill for 3-4 hours or until the mousses have set.

4      To serve, stir the reserved strawberry puree then pour a little over the top of each mousse. Decorate with tiny strawberries and serve with dainty biscuits, if liked.

Have Fun!

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Cancer Outcomes Conference



Where:  Cancer Outcomes Conference

When:  June 14th and 15th

Venue:  Birmingham’s Metropole Hotel, served by Birmingham International Station, Birmingham Airport and Motorways – with largest hotel swimming pool (see right).

How to apply – see below

Why go?   Look below and find plenty of reasons, including

Parallel Sessions where patients and carers will be able to make their voices heard


Reason 1

The conference programme

Day one – 14th June

09:00    Registration and exhibition
10:00    Opening plenary session

Then comes a series of Parallel Sessions:  you choose one to attend, ensuring you have a chance to air your voice:

Reason 2.  AM Parallel sessions:

  1. Screening, prevention and early diagnosis
  2. Patient experience and reported outcomes
  3. National cancer registration and data processing
  4. Cancer audit

Using clinical information to improve services and outcomes plenary session

PM Parallel sessions

  1. Survivorship
  2. Staging
  3. Less common cancers
  4. Going beyond cancer

Supporting commissioning plenary session

19:30    Conference dinner

Day two – 15th June

09:00    Research plenary session
AM Parallel sessions

  1. Health economics
  2. International focus
  3. Co-morbidity and risk adjustment
  4. Recurrence and late effects

PM Parallel sessions

  1. Information for the public and data visualisation
  2. Inequalities in cancer
  3. Primary Care
  4. Ethics and consent

Closing plenary session

15:30    Close of conference

To register  go to:  When you click through hit REGISTER.  This takes you to a page that needs careful study, and you HAVE to say what sessions you are going to take part in (even though you may not know yet – just hit any of titles!)  When it comes to registration, hit GUEST – and this takes you through to organisers who will approve if you have a free Bursary.


Day delegate (Day one) NHS / Acad   £100
Day delegate (Day one) Industry £150
Dinner – end of Day one £50
Day delegate (Day two) NHS / Acad £100
Day delegate (Day two) Industry £150
Full (Day one, accommodation, Day two) NHS £300
Full (Day one, accommodation, Day two) Industry £350
Full (Day one, accommodation, Day two) Bursary Free
Accommodation and dinner pre-event £135

There are Bursaries which are Free for Patients and Carers   and include accommodation and meals

Please ensure you press CONFIRM at the end of the registration process, this will finalise your registration. Once this is done you will receive an email to the address you submitted. If you have NOT received an automated confirmation within 24Hrs, please contact Eventpro UK as you may have not successfully registered.

On-line registrations & attendance payments must be received by 1st June 2012. Please note that receipts are only sent out if requested.


Metropole Hotel

Hilton Birmingham Metropole, NEC, Birmingham, B40 1PP

This hotel has one of the biggest hotel swimming pools in Britain (kept at a sensible temperature of 31°), and next door is The Ocean Rooms Spa, a very comprehensive spa with excellent facials.  There they have four therapists who have had training in looking after our ‘cancer problem’ skin.  They give the most gorgeous treatments, and the lovely surprise at the end is that treatments cost way below London prices.

There is a shuttle bus from outside Birmingham New Street station which collects guests at the white bus stop stand next to the taxi rank.

There is chargeable (expensive)  WiFi in the rooms and free WiFi in the Lounge area.


 Virgin Trains have Lead in return Advance standard fares are as follows:

Euston to Birmingham £15.00

Glasgow to Birmingham £45.00

Don’t forget if you stay over the weekend Virgin has very inexpensive First Class fares.  And they offer free WiFi in First Class.

What to see and do in Birmingham




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Europa Donna





More than 3,000 breast cancer specialists and advocates attended the 8th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-8) in Vienna, Austria from 21-24 March.

Topics such as survivorship and the benefits of lifestyle interventions also took the floor. EUROPA DONNA  in partnership with the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists (EUSOMA) hosted the conference, where physicians and advocates alike heard the latest findings on best practice in mammography screening, specialist breast unit implementation and accreditation, imaging techniques, surgical and drug therapy, lifestyle measures, and specific populations such younger women, older women and those with metastatic disease.

What is Europa Donna?

EUROPA DONNA (ED) – The European Breast Cancer Coalition, is an independent, non-profit organisation whose members are affiliated groups from countries throughout Europe. ED works to raise public awareness of breast cancer and to mobilise the support of European women in pressing for improved breast cancer education, appropriate screening, optimal treatment and care and increased funding for research.  Member countries currently number 46, from Albania to Uzbekistan.

EUROPA DONNA Past President Bettina Borisch reminded participants of the need for further advocacy for mammography screening and breast unit implementation: “We know that in breast units, team work is essential, but it is not easy. A European specialist breast unit accreditation scheme must be implemented so that patients know where they can go for optimum care.”

Prof. Borisch also mentioned “professional tribalism”, i.e., the reluctance of some professionals to work together. Lesley Fallowfield, of the University of Sussex, emphasised the importance of a well-functioning, communicative multidisciplinary team, for the benefit of the members and their patients.  In Britain we find that David Cameron and Andrew Lansley constantly echo that cancer treatment is better in some European countries, but there are no plans to open wider co-operation across the English Channel.

Dutch Research

Presenting the 20-year results from the Dutch national breast cancer screening programme, which now includes women aged 50-75, Jacques Fracheboud from Erasmus Medical Centre said that the programme has contributed to a decrease in breast cancer mortality, and that its benefits outweigh all the potential negative effects. A study presented later by his colleague Rianne de Gelder estimated that in 2008, adjuvant treatment reduced breast cancer deaths by almost 14%, while biennial screening reduced deaths by almost an additional 16%.


In a first ever session dedicated to “survivorship”, Julia Rowland of the U.S. National Cancer Institute described how advocacy in her country led to the creation of the Office of Cancer Survivorship, of which she is the director. With the growing population, and the fact that due to early detection the vast majority of women diagnosed with breast cancer can expect to live beyond 5 years, research and attention must be focussed on the issues concerning this population. She added that the transition to recovery can be stressful for both the woman and her family, and long-term effects of treatment such as fatigue need to be addressed. ED members Mojca Miklavi and Ingrid Kössler then gave moving accounts of their personal experience with survivorship and advocacy.

There was also promising news for younger women. Hatem Azim of the Jules Bordet Institute presented trial results showing that pregnancy is not only safe after breast cancer, it might have a protective effect.

Lifestyle factors

In a well-attended, early morning ED Teaching Lecture, Isabelle Romieu, Head of the Section of Nutrition and Metabolism at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, covered the lifestyle factors that could help in preventing breast cancer. She said that research is now targeted at identifying the subgroups of breast cancer types that could benefit from certain lifestyle interventions.

She reiterated that minimal alcohol consumption, avoiding obesity, eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet and avoiding sweet drinks could help to reduce breast cancer risk. Many of these are the messages of ED annual Breast Health Day campaign, which was outlined by Susan Knox, ED’s Executive Director. Lifestyle was also the topic of a lively Oxford Debate.

A further study presented by Dutch experts indicated that cognitive behavioural therapy and physical exercise can have beneficial effects on treatment-induced menopausal symptoms. In an additional study presented by Jennifer Ligibel from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, women who were overweight or obese at the time of diagnosis were found to have a higher risk of recurrence and a shorter survival than their leaner counterparts.

Metastatic Breast Cancer

A ED session focussed on advocating for the unaddressed needs of women with metastatic breast cancer, who often feel marginalised in current breast care facilities. A panel discussion followed regarding the metastatic setting content to be included in the next edition of the European Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnosis.

The next conference

EBCC-9 is to be held 19-21 March 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.  Make a date to go to this, as delegates will be able to hear from a similar group of experts, many of whom have much to offer cancer care and survivorship in Britain.

More information on the conference is available through the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO), and the conference abstracts are available online.

EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition
Piazza Amendola, 3
20149 Milan, Italy
Tel: +39 02 3659 2280
Fax: +39 02 3659 2284
Email:     Website:

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