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Staff get in the pink for cancer research

A researcher at the University of St Andrews who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer has organised a series of events in aid of research into the disease.

Dr Valerie Smith, a comparative immunologist at the University’s Gatty Laboratory, is co-ordinating a range of events across the Schools of Biology and Medicine all this week. The week culminates on Friday (27th October 2006) with a special ‘pink day’ to coincide with Breast Cancer Campaign’s Wear it Pink day.

Dr Smith’s first hand experience of the disease began when she was diagnosed this summer following routine checks, and she is currently undergoing chemotherapy at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee. She decided to get involved in fundraising for cancer charities to help her take her mind off the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy and to ‘give something back for the wonderful care and support’ she has received from friends, colleagues and medical staff.

She chose Breast Cancer Campaign because it funds research into improved cures for the illness, and because it seemed appropriate for a collective of University scientists and colleagues.

She said, “Breast cancer affects one in nine women in the UK at some point in their lives, so nearly everyone will known someone close them who has, or will, develop it. Happily, many lives and unnecessary suffering can be saved by routine screening. For those that do have a positive diagnosis, the prognosis is usually very good, although it is a scary thing to face and the treatment is long and rather gruelling. More research is needed to detect cancers early and to develop treatments with less aggressive side effects.”

Staff across the University’s biological and medical buildings will host cake sales this week to raise funds and Dr Smith is supported by colleagues, Lianne Baker (Harold Mitchell building), Sandra Dunn and Joyce Strachan (Bute), Rona Ramsay, Charlotte Ryan and Margaret Wilson (Purdie / CBMS), as well as student members of the Bute Medical Society.

All proceeds from the cakes sales, ‘Come To Work In Pink’ (or be fined!) day and a forthcoming Quiz Night / Raffle and Promise Auction will go to Breast Cancer Campaign.

For further information on the Wear it Pink campaign, visit: www.wearitpink.co.uk

ENDS

NOTE TO PICTURE EDITORS:

DR SMITH AND COLLEAGUES ‘WEARING IT PINK’ ON FRIDAY 27TH OCTOBER WILL GATHER AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE UNIVERSITY’S GATTY MARINE LAB AT 11.30AM FOR PHOTOS – YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND.

Issued by Beattie Media – www.beattiegroup.com on behalf of the University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st- andrews.ac.uk

Ref: Wear it pink 251006.doc View the latest University press releases at http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk

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