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Irish Cancer Society

Boots Ireland have today launched their Night Walks for Night Nurses campaign, encouraging people to join fundraising Night Walks in either Phoenix Park, Dublin (16 August) or  Blackrock Castle (Carpark), Cork (23 August).

Tickets to join the 5km walk cost €15 for an adult, and under 16s go free. Walks start at 7.30pm in Dublin and 7.00 pm in Cork. Each adult ticket comes with a free t-shirt.

Alongside the walks, Honour Tags are on sale in Boots stores nationwide for €2. Customers can purchase a tag in honour of someone who has survived or passed away from cancer. One metre will be walked in honour of that person and the tags are brought to respective walks. The front of the tag allows for the name of the individual with space on the back for a personal message.

Funds raised will go towards the Irish Cancer Society Night Nursing service, which provides end of life care for cancer patients in their own home, allowing them to pass away at home surrounded by family and loved ones as well as giving much needed respite for the family caring for them.

The Night Nurse service has run for over 30 years and operates in every county in Ireland. The service has made a huge contribution to cancer support, providing over 7,400 nights of care in 2018 alone, to 1,861 patients. There are 180 Night Nurses in operation around Ireland, providing up to 10 nights of care for cancer patients in their own home, during the last days of their life. The service is provided completely free of charge.

Ambassador Teresa Mannion said: “Having faced cancer myself, I saw the impact it has not only on those with a diagnosis, but on their loved ones also. Patients, and those supporting them, are exhausted both physically and mentally and the Irish Cancer Society’s Night Nurses play such a critical caring role. Night Nurses allow everyone to sleep, assured that they are in the best hands, and it’s wonderful to see Boots step up and host fundraisers such as these.”

 Boots MD Bernadette Lavery said: “We were thrilled to see over 600 people attend the walks last year, raising more than €50,000 for this great service. Since partnering with the Irish Cancer Society back in 2012 we have raised over €1.4 million or over 4,000 nights for this much-needed service, and we are incredibly proud of Boots’ ongoing commitment to supporting those living with cancer. We’ve set ourselves a target to raise more than ever before this year, so would love to see more participants at our walks, which are truly inspirational and uplifting events.”

Speaking at the launch of the Night Walks campaign, Averil Power, Chief Executive, Irish Cancer Society, said: “The Night Nursing service allows cancer patients to remain in their own home during their last days. The Night Nurses are there through the night, keeping the patient comfortable, while also supporting family members during a very difficult time. As the service is almost entirely donation-funded, we rely on the support of Boots staff and customers to ensure we can be there for more families in need of this crucial care.”

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The Irish Cancer Society has issued a warning to the public regarding the potential dangers associated with the fake tan injection, Melanotan.

The substance is banned under Irish law, though it can be easily purchased online, and there are even reports of it being sold in certain gyms and tanning shops around the country.

According to reports, one in 10 people using the HSE needle exchange programme are using the illicit product.

Originally designed as a treatment for skin cancer, the product has since been marketed toward those seeking the perfect tan.

Users of Melanotan often suffer severe side-effects such as high-blood pressure and flu-like symptoms as well as acne and black blotches on the skin.

Kevin O'Hagan from the Irish Cancer Society has warned of the dangers:

"The difficulty is it's an illegal substance and it's highly dangerous. Some of the reports we're hearing in relation to the side effects, that range from sickness right through to a link to melanoma skin cancer, really can cause a lot of difficulties for someone," he said.

"[The side effects] range from sickness, acne, high blood pressure, people often get flu-like symptoms when using it. We've heard reports of people getting body swelling and dark, black blotches on their skin and freckles getting brown."

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The Irish Cancer Society are calling for additional efforts and investment to improve the uptake of the HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccination programme, after some controversial reports caused the amount of people choosing to get vaccinated to fall rapidly.

According to the society, the latest report from the National Cancer Registry, highlights an “urgent need for increased investment to prevent unnecessary deaths.”

Over 400 people are diagnosed with cancers caused by HPV in Ireland each year, and sadly, the disease claims up to 130 lives annually.

Donald Buggy, head of services and advocacy at The Irish Cancer Society is also calling for the programme to be opened to boys.

‘’85 men in Ireland annually develop a cancer which could potentially be prevented by a simple and safe vaccination.’’

“While boys can avail of the HPV vaccine through their GP, for a fee, The Irish Cancer Society believes it is time for the government to invest in the extension of the national HPV school vaccination programme to boys, so that as many lives as possible can be saved,” he said.

There have been a significant decline in the uptake of the vaccination among secondary school girls over the past two years with figures dropping from 87 per cent to as low as 50 per cent in some areas.

Donald added, ''If this worrying trend is not reversed, women will continue to die needlessly from HPV-caused cancers.''

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, recently hit out at anti-vaccine campaigners, who he believes are putting lives at risk due to the spread of misinformation.

The Minister admitted he was deeply concerned about the decline in the uptake of the potentially life-saving vaccine.

He said, ‘’There is no scientific evidence that the HPV vaccine causes any long-term illness. However, this misinformation has led to a significant drop in uptake rates of the HPV vaccine.’’

‘’This means that a large cohort of girls are now at risk of developing cervical cancer later in their lives.’’

The fresh calls for increased investment in the programme come after the Teachers’ Union of Ireland passed a motion asking for a review of the HPV vaccine programme is schools. 

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After a campaign, initiated by the Irish Cancer Society, was met with mixed reaction last month, the chief executive of the organisation has decided to address the criticism.

Referring to the 'I Want to Get Cancer' initiative, John McCormack this week extended his apologies to anyone who was affected by the advertising campaign, but maintained that the purpose of the initiative was to raise even further awareness of the regularity with which people are diagnosed in Ireland.

"Cancer takes far too many lives, and being reminded of its destruction can make people feel vulnerable and raw," he said. "But I would like to get one thing absolutely clear, and that is that this campaign was undertaken to save lives.That was our one and only motivation."

"While the merits of our campaign were being debated in the papers and on the airwaves, 150 people a day were hearing the words, 'You have cancer'. One person every three minutes – that's 40,000 people a year," he added.

Acknowledging the distress the campaign caused among members of the public, Mr McCormack extended his sympathies and acknowledged the impact the nature of the campaign had on many.

"My team and I also deal with some very difficult calls, People reached out to us as they were hurt by our campaign and it reignited a grief that was so very hard to bear," he said.

"This was often a direct consequence of the cancer diagnosis that the person, their friend or their family had received."

"On behalf of the society, I want to acknowledge the hurt that our campaign may have caused people. That was never our intention," he insisted.

"And to anyone that has lost a loved one to cancer, I am truly sorry," he said.

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It’s a pretty frightening statistic: in the last decade, the number of breast cancer cases in this country has risen by a third.

Annual diagnoses now stand at some 2,800 women.

However, 85 percent of those with the disease are surviving, thanks largely to cancer research which is improving detection and treatments.

Paint It Pink supporters Roz Purcell with Marion and Lisa Dwane

Indeed, the Irish Cancer Society has invested €7.5m in BREAST-PREDICT, a five-year study focused on breast cancer research.

And now Paint It Pink is calling on all of us to host a pink coffee morning or event this October to support the charity’s important research, advocacy and services.

One celebrity getting behind the drive is model-turned-foodie Roz Purcell, whose own sister, Rachel, was last year diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia.

“Every family has been touched by cancer, and for women, breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer,” Roz, 25, said recently.

“This October we can help support all those on their breast cancer journey by Painting It Pink – host a coffee morning or pink event and play your part.”

Researcher Lisa Dwane is from Dublin. Her studies focus on hormone-driven breast cancer. Lisa’s mother Marion is a breast cancer survivor, and it was this experience which drove Lisa to pursue her chosen career path.

“My mam was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 37 years old and I was 14. Seeing what my Mam went through I wanted to do something to help women so that no family ever has to go through that kind of pain again,” Lisa said.

Marion was diagnosed with stage 3A hormone driven breast cancer; she had a lumpectomy, then chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Herceptin had just been made available in Ireland at the time and Marion was one of the first to avail of the new treatment. Now, 11 years later, she is cancer free and extremely proud that her daughter is helping others through her career.

Lisa added: “About 70 percent of breast cancers are hormone driven. Most of these women will be treated with tamoxifen and about one third of them will relapse within 15 years.

“We’re looking for new ways to treat this type of patient, patients that either fail on tamoxifen treatment or don’t respond at all.

Marion herself, from Clondalkin, said of her daughter: “I’m so proud of her. Cancer research is so important. I’m living proof of this.”

Members of the public can help fund vital cancer research and support services for those affected by cancer by Painting It Pink this October. Visit paintitpink.ie or call 1850 60 60 60 for fundraising ideas and information on breast cancer.

The Paint It Pink campaign is kindly supported by Centra.

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We’re a complicated bunch, us Irish.

We might still bless ourselves while passing a church, but can’t remember the last time we stepped foot inside one.

We may have discovered a new-found love for avocado, chia seed and matcha lattes, but feel compelled to whisper ‘notions’ about countless other people

And we may have a real grá for de-cluttering our homes, but, ironically, have wardrobes full to bursting with barely worn clothes.

According to a BT Ireland survey, we find de-cluttering our homes hugely therapeutic –  with 60 per cent indulging at least twice a year and 89 per cent insisting it makes them feel ‘brilliant’ – and yet our wardrobes remain stuffed.

The findings established that 49 per cent of Irish people surveyed wear only half their clothes on the regular while 28 per cent wear just a quarter frequently.

Encouraging the public to both donate to charity shops and pick up bargains along the way, 10 employees will take over nine Irish Cancer Society charity shops in Dublin, Galway and Cork on October 13th as part of BT Shop for Change in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.

And with one in two people affected by cancer, the money raised will help the Society fund innovative cancer research projects and provide support for patients and their families

Ladies, it’s time to get sorting… and shopping!

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Vogue Williams took to Instagram yesterday to share a heart-breaking tribute to a family friend who passed away just last month.

Posting a photo of 20-year-old Duncan McLean, the model gave some background into his life, explaining how he had been diagnosed with cancer just days before his death.

“My younger brother Alexander lost one of his closest friends to a sudden onset brain tumour on the 28th February," she wrote alongside the smiling photo of Duncan.

The post told us of how Duncan was “admitted to hospital in Edinburgh on Thursday 26th February…and died early on the Sunday morning, only two days later.”

A friend of her younger brother's, the loss obviously hit hard with Vogue, who finished her post with some shocking stats about the rise of cancer-related deaths among young people.

This isn’t the first time Vogue has opened up about a personal loss on her social media. Late last year she took to Instagram to mark the fifth anniversary of her father's tragic passing.

Along with a picture of her late father was a touching message where she called him her “best friend”.

You can donate to Irish Cancer Society online or by calling 1850 60 60 60. You can also go the extra mile and take part in one of the many walks, marathons, cycles, treks and fun runs that the Irish Cancer Society organises year round. For more information visit www.cancer.ie.

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The thought of posting a selfie with no war paint on is scary stuff.

But raising money for a really good cause might give you the extra courage you need.

The Irish Cancer Society has been flooded with donations in the past couple of days thanks to the ‘No makeup selfie’ trend.

Thousands of women around the country shared a selfie of themselves wearing no makeup on Facebook and Twitter to raise money for the worthy charity.

‘#nomakeupselfie’ is currently the number one Twitter trend in Ireland as hundreds of photos continue to be posted every hour.

And not to be outdone, even men got in on the craze by posting selfies of themselves with lots of slap on.

The charity says that more than €200,000 has been raised so far and counting, as the trend continues online.

Cancer charities in the UK revealed they have raised more than £4 million thanks to the campaign, with celebrities such as Kym Marsh joining in.

If you would like to make a donation to the Irish Cancer Society Text Pink or Daff to 50300 to donate €4.

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