Medicash funds research into early detection of lung cancer


Health cash plan provider Medicash has shown its support for the fight against lung cancer by donating £5,000 to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. Medicash made the donation to the Foundation, which was founded in Liverpool, to support its Kings College London research project into the prevention and treatment of lung cancer and to coincide with National No Smoking Day (Wednesday 13 March). The research project aims to develop single molecule strategies to test blood samples, which it is hoped will help researchers to identify abnormalities in the blood that could be an early sign of lung cancer.

The Kings College Project is one of nine separate university research projects across the UK being funded by the Roy Castle Foundation that concentrate on either the early detection of the disease, or improving the experience of patients.

Examples of this include research being carried out at the University of Liverpool; The Liverpool Lung Project, which looks to identify those who are at especially high risk of developing the disease by using molecular genetics technologies and investigating biomarkers in cheek or nose tissues; and the University of Manchester’s project which looks for markers in the blood that could be an early sign of lung cancer.

Medicash chose Kings College London to receive the funds for its innovative approach to the fight against lung cancer, using non-invasive procedures to detect an individual’s propensity to the disease and thereby increasing the chances of it being detected at a more treatable stage.

The Medicash Charitable Trust has donated more than £1m to a variety of causes during the past 10 years and was formed through the merger of two separate trusts.

The Roy Castle Foundation was founded as the Lung Cancer Fund in 1990 by Professor Ray Donnelly, a thoracic surgeon based in Liverpool working to raise awareness of the problem of lung cancer.

In 1993, Professor Donnelly put together his ideas for an international centre for lung cancer research. At the time, much loved UK entertainer Roy Castle was diagnosed with the disease, and spent much of the last year of his life helping to raise millions of pounds for the Lung Cancer Fund. When he died in 1994, his contribution was recognised by changing the name of the charity to the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation.

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: “We are funding research to find ways to detect lung cancer at an early stage when the disease can be cured. With the support of organisations like Medicash, one day lung cancer can be defeated. It’s a long journey but along the way we can speed up diagnosis and make a real difference in the fight against cancer.”

Medicash CEO, Sue Weir, said: “The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is the only charity in the UK wholly dedicated to the defeat of lung cancer. As lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, for both men and women, we at Medicash wanted to make this donation to enable the Foundation to continue its important work on the prevention and treatment of lung cancer.”

Established over 140 years ago, Medicash is one of the largest and most established healthcare cash plan providers in the UK, offering a wide range of affordable health plans for companies, individuals and intermediaries.

This year marks the 30th national No Smoking Day, encouraging smokers to ‘swap fags for swag’ and consider the financial benefits of quitting.

On March 13thRoy Castle FagEnds – which operates free stop smoking groups across Liverpool – will be staging a number of events across the city including giving out help and advice to smokers at University Hospital Aintree, and consultations at Royal Liverpool University Hospital.