meet up with… Jessica Ruth, Prevent Breast Cancer
Back in early June, MT Finance, and brokers from across the UK specialist finance industry, took to the hallowed ground of Villa Park to score as many goals as possible. Why? Because MT Finance’s founding directors, Joshua Elash and Tomer Aboody, had pledged to donate £200 to UK charity, Prevent Breast Cancer, every time a ball hit the back of the net. A total of 13 goals were scored on the day and thanks to the industry’s collective generosity, a total of £4,010 was raised.
Founded by a leading breast cancer surgeon 25 years ago, Prevent Breast Cancer is the only UK charity funding research aimed at preventing breast cancer. We took some time out with the charity’s Head of Income Generation, Jessica Ruth, to find out more about the charity’s origins and the work they do to make breast cancer a preventable disease for future generations.
Breast cancer is the biggest cause of death in women aged 35 – 49, why is that?
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and the biggest cause of death for women between 35 – 49. Although treatment is much more successful these days, the incidence of breast cancer has not declined, in fact statistics show that cases of the disease are growing – and that women born today will experience a rate of 1 in 8.
“However, in spite of the huge funds raised for cancer research in the UK, less than 4% is spent on prevention. Prevent Breast Cancer has a unique mission – to fund research with the sole aim of preventing the disease for future generations. Our mantra is that we will:
“PREDICT who is at high risk of developing breast cancer
“PREVENT the disease from occurring
“PROTECT future generations from ever experiencing the trauma of breast cancer.”
Can you tell us more about the research that is funded by Prevent Breast Cancer?
“Prevent Breast Cancer funds ground-breaking research solely aimed at the prediction and prevention of breast cancer. We promote early diagnosis, healthier lifestyles, and work together with others to influence change in breast cancer services.
“We work closely with The Manchester Breast Centre to collaborate with world-renowned experts in the field. Being situated at the only breast cancer prevention centre in the UK – The Nightingale Centre – means we’re right at the frontline in the fight against the disease.
Prevent Breast Cancer works alongside experts from The Manchester Breast Centre, how will MT Finance’s donation help their research?
“Your support will help us create a future free from breast cancer. With just 4% of cancer research funds being spent on preventing the disease, your time, support and donations will make a huge difference to people’s lives. Now, and years into the future.”
While breast cancer is significantly more common in women, it does affect men as well. Is this something that many men are aware of?
“A common misconception is that breast cancer only affects women, however men can develop the disease, too. Every year around 390 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK compared with over 55,100 women. It is rare, but 1 in 1000 men will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.”
Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 based on a positive BRCA test, indicating an increased risk of developing cancers such as breast and ovarian. Did this have any impact on people’s understanding of breast cancer prevention?
“The star’s experience triggered a huge increase in the number of women asking for genetic testing. Importantly, these women were those who did have a family history of the disease and had perhaps put off the tests, but felt inspired by Angelina’s story, proving that the rise in the number of tests was not simply a ‘knee jerk’ reaction.
“A year later, further figures proved that the ‘Angelina Effect’ was long-lasting as we recorded a clear increase in uptake of preventative double mastectomies among patients here at the Nightingale Centre in Manchester.
What has been your proudest moment while working at Prevent Breast Cancer?
“I have recently joined the team here at Prevent Breast Cancer and I am proud to be part of a team that is committed solely to predicting and preventing the disease. The work we do everyday will not only help men and women now but also future generations.”
What’s next for Prevent Breast Cancer?
“We know we can put an end to this devastating disease. But we need your support.
Together we can protect our future generations. Together we can PREVENT BREAST CANCER.”
If you would like to get involved with Prevent Breast Cancer, more details can be found here. Alternatively, if you would like to make a donation to help fund the charity’s ground-breaking research, you can do so via their website.