In June 2014, along with a group of female friends, Mika launched Silent No More, a project to raise both funds and awareness for Gyneacological Cancers. Together they have formed the Gynaecological Cancer Fund - a committee of incredible women all of whom have a personal reason to make it their a mission to change the way these womens cancers are treated.
Why Gynacological Cancer?
In 2013 my friend Dr Susana Banerjee asked if I could help raise funds for her ground breaking research into personalised treatment of gynaecological cancer - my answer was immediately yes. My Mother was 54 when she was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. It was likely she’d had symptoms for a year before diagnosis but being very similar to menopause - they went ignored. We lost her just 9 months after diagnosis. I never had the opportunity to know my Mum in my adult life and I believe the greatest thing I can do is enable other daughters, sons and family members more time than I had.
About Gynaecological Cancer
In the UK 20,000 women are diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer (ovarian, womb, cervical, vaginal and vulval) every year and of these more than 7,700 women will die. These cancers are known as the silent killers as they are often diagnosed too late. More than 50 women receive news every day of their diagnosis and 21 families lose a woman they love.
Longterm - it is critical to raise awareness to encourage women to talk more openly about their bodies. But for the time being, while so many women are being diagnosed at Stage 4, we must also focus on better, personalised treatments that will initially lengthen lives and eventually save them.
The Gynaecological Cancer Fund
The Gynaecological Cancer Fund is a newly established charity with a mission to raise funds in support of Dr Susana Banerjee, a leading oncologist at The Royal Marsden. Dr Banerjee is leading research into more personalised approaches to cancer treatment. The Gynaecological Cancer fund has committed to raising £250,000 a year to help fund the research. They are also committed to raising funds for a major awareness campaign to increase women’s knowledge of the symptoms of the five gynaecological cancers.
Committee: Mika Simmons, Jenny Halpern-Prince, Tamara Beckwith-Veroni, Josephine Daniel, Clare Beckwith, Chloe Delevingne, Astrid Harbord, Kate Percival, Bridget Barker
Dr Banerjee’s Research
Dr Susana Banerjee MBBS MA MRCP PhD is a consultant oncologist, specialising in the treatment of women with gynaecological cancers at The Royal Marsden. By analysing a tissue sample from a patient with cancer we can now identify the genetic (DNA) and molecular profile of a woman’s cancer. This information helps identify molecular abnormalities in the cancer that lead to or drive its spread. By identifying these molecular abnormalities we can target these ‘cancer drivers’ with new drugs, therefore helping us to tailor available drugs to patient’s individual molecular abnormalities rather than the traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach.
The new drugs available have the potential to be far more effective than traditional chemotherapies with more manageable side effects. This means that more women have a chance of receiving treatments that work for them without being subjected to unnecessary side effects.
Please join us in our crusade to make these cancers
SILENT NO MORE