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30 September 2008 | PR 08/135

Loughborough University Scientist to help breast cancer patients return to work

A Loughborough University scientist has received a pilot grant from one of the UK’s leading breast cancer research charities, Breast Cancer Campaign, to explore the long term side effects of chemotherapy on women with breast cancer.

The £11,000 grant, the first ever awarded to Loughborough University by the charity, forms part of £2.3 million awarded to 20 projects around the UK and will fill one of the research gaps identified by the country’s top breast cancer experts in a recent study carried out by the charity.

While chemotherapy is a very effective way to treat breast cancer, it has some serious side effects, such as loss of concentration and short-term memory loss known as ‘chemobrain’. Currently very little information exists about the side effects of chemotherapy and the support needed to help women return to and manage work.

Dr Munir, who is based in the University’s Department of Human Sciences, will survey 40 women who have completed their chemotherapy and returned to work to find out whether the side effects from their treatment have affected their ability to do their job, and what information and support would have made their return to work easier.

Dr Munir said: “The aim of this project is to help women with breast cancer learn to deal with these side effects which will ultimately improve their quality of life and make their working lives easier.”

Pamela Goldberg, Chief Executive, Breast Cancer Campaign said: “Although women are living longer with the improved breast cancer treatments available, debilitating side effects can hamper their return to work. We hope this study will benefit women in the future and make returning to work less stressful.”

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Judy Wing
Senior PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228697
E: J.L.Wing@lboro.ac.uk

Claire Learner
Breast Cancer campaign
T:020 7749 3705
E: clearner@breastcancercampaign.org

Notes for editors:

  1. Breast Cancer Campaign aims to beat breast cancer by funding innovative world-class research to understand how breast cancer develops, leading to improved diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure. Currently it supports 114 research projects, worth almost £14.6 million, in 46 centres of excellence across the UK.

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK and accounts for nearly one in three of all cancers in women. In the UK, almost 46,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year – that’s around 125 a day.

    Breast Cancer Campaign’s new publication: Evaluation of the current knowledge limitations in breast cancer research: A gap analysis - can be viewed at http://breast-cancer-research.com/content/10/2/R26
    For further information about Breast Cancer Campaign visit: www.breastcancercampaign.org

  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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