There are so many useful articles and news stories to read and I would love to have references and links to lots of them here for you. I have started the page off with a couple stories that I have found useful. If you come across any that you can recommend please contact me with the relevant references/links.

I found this article by Melanie McFadyean, a journalist who had breast cancer, particularly interesting, moving and at times it made me smile. I certainly could identify with some of her experiences.

It comes from the Guardian Weekend magazine published on 22nd January 2005 and is entitled Who Knew? and begins thus:-

“Finding out that she had breast cancer was a terrifying bombshell, of course, but at least Melanie McFadyean encountered a few new truths. Blondes do have more fun, graveyard humour helps but funeral manners from the well-meaning are a pain, and whatever you do, don't believe the statistics.”

Melanie deals with so many of the difficult issues that we all face when we are diagnosed with cancer in a very sensitive, informative and sometimes amusing way. Well worth a read.

You can get to the whole article by going to the Guardian website

I found these interesting news stories on the BBC website on 8th April 2005 - Cure for cancers 'in five years'

In summary Scientists in Manchester are claiming that a cure for all types of cancer could be available on the NHS within five years.
The world's first patient trials in a technique which genetically engineers cells will take place at the city's Christie Hospital later this year.
The treatment - gene-modified t-cell therapy - could replace more intrusive treatments like chemotherapy.
The cells are fitted with a "tracker" device to kill cancer cells before being injected back into the patient.

Professor Robert Hawkins, clinical director of Medical oncology at the hospital, says the initial results of lab tests have been "spectacular.
The new system makes the body naturally seek out and kill tumours by boosting the infection-fighting t-cells.

Professor Hawkins is appealing for funds to build a lab to genetically engineer t-cells, so that the treatment can be available for patients that cancer drugs, chemotherapy and radiotherapy have already failed. "Given as an injection, it could get rid of a widespread range of tumours."

Star's appeal - About £250,000 is needed through the Christie Appeal to pay for nurses with specialist training, research doctors and equipment.
Earlier this week, the hospital launched a new fundraising appeal backed by BBC One's Dr Who star, Christopher Eccleston, who was born in Salford.
Those wanting to give to the Christie Appeal can call the 24-hour donation line on 0800 1954321.

You can get the full story from the BBC NEWS

Cancer diagnosis hits Asians hard
White patients cope better with the pressure of cancer than their British Asian counterparts, research suggests.
The University of Leicester looked at coping strategies among 200 white and British Asian patients.
The British Journal of Cancer study found the most common method of coping among Asian people was simply to deny they were ill.
White people were more likely not to dwell on their illness - a strategy linked to less anxiety and depression.

The results of a standard questionnaire showed British Asian patients felt more helpless and were also more likely to be depressed and to feel that fate controlled events.

Researcher Dr Symonds told the BBC News website he feared that Asian patients were more likely to view cancer as an automatic death sentence when in fact up to 50% of patients made a full recovery.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a GP in Stanmore, Middlesex, and a senior member of the British Medical Association, said some people from ethnic minorities had an outdated impression of how effectively modern medicine could treat cancer.

Dr Nagpaul said it was important that counselling services were available to support people who were diagnosed with cancer.

Kate Law, head of clinical trials at Cancer Research UK, said: "In this study, the British Asian patients appear to have an unhealthy attitude to a cancer diagnosis, often leading to depression, whereas white patients seem to deal with it better and have a better outlook."This could be down to many factors, but if misunderstanding of cancer is one, then the NHS may need to focus on a targeted education campaign once this work has been further substantiated."

Dr Kiran Patel, of the South Asian Health Foundation, said the differences could be due to many factors.

"Notwithstanding that depression is more prevalent in Asians, when cancer is diagnosed, factors such as the social stigma associated with a diagnosis, the religious and cultural beliefs of this group such as accepting ones fate or destiny (kismet) may play a role."

Read the full story from BBC NEWS