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Think Pink & Blue gala dinner to raise funds for regional cancer research

PUBLISHED: 12:41 14 February 2018

People gathered at The Forum for Think Pink & Blue Monday in January, which raised funds and awareness for prostate and ovarian cancer research. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

People gathered at The Forum for Think Pink & Blue Monday in January, which raised funds and awareness for prostate and ovarian cancer research. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A Norfolk not-for-profit organisation is aiming to help plug a gap in cancer research funding.

Dawn Knibb and Ruth Thurston raising money on Think Pink & Blue Monday in January. Picture: ANTONY KELLYDawn Knibb and Ruth Thurston raising money on Think Pink & Blue Monday in January. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Think Pink was founded in 2004 and has raised more than £100,000 for breast cancer research, however, prostate and ovarian cancer research has since fallen behind in terms of funding and the organisation is now shifting its focus.

The latest figures show that prostate cancer has overtaken breast cancer and now claims the third most lives of any cancer in the UK.

The number of people killed each year by breast cancer has been in decline over the past two decades and the drop has been attributed to increased research funding and subsequent advances in diagnosis and treatment.

Think Pink & Blue, as the organisation is now known, is hoping to facilitating a similar drop in death rates by hosting a fundraising gala dinner in aid of regional ovarian and prostate cancer research projects.

John Ladd was diagnosed with prostate cancer after taking a prostate-specific antigen test, which was advised by his doctor after his father died from the cancer. Picture: John LaddJohn Ladd was diagnosed with prostate cancer after taking a prostate-specific antigen test, which was advised by his doctor after his father died from the cancer. Picture: John Ladd

A major challenge with both cancers is identifying symptoms, if indeed they present themselves. Only three pc of women say they are very confident of spotting a symptom of ovarian cancer. Equally, many men have prostate cancer without realising.

Rod Spokes, 76, from Norwich, was diagnosed with prostate cancer four years ago.

He said: “I found out entirely by luck. I had no symptoms and was due for a blood test for cholesterol. I had read about prostate cancer in the papers and decided I would ask for a PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test. The next day I had a call from the surgery saying you better come and see us urgently.

“I had it (the prostate) out on the basis that if you have an organ that you don’t really need producing cancerous cells then it better be out. If I hadn’t have asked for that test I could have ended up in dire trouble I guess.”

John Ladd, 69, retired school teacher from Norwich, was diagnosed two years ago.

He said: “I was symptomless but my doctor encouraged me to have the tests regularly because my father had died from prostate cancer. It turned out I had a very aggressive cancer in my prostate, so I owe my health to the efficiency of my GP.”

The gala dinner is at 7pm on Friday March 2 at Open, Norwich, and will include dinner, an auction and live entertainment.

To book tickets, call 01603 757658.

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