DAY 11: Research is vital to understand the complexities of cancer


So far on the challenge the Beijing Biddies had been lucky with the weather until the last night in Wales when they were drenched in torrential rain.

With the lack of signal in the depths of the Welsh countryside, the team had also lost connection to the rest of the world for the night, however after a soaking start to the morning they were on the road again heading for their final visit of the challenge at Manchester Cancer Research Centre.

There, the Biddies met Clare Dickinson, a Cancer Research nurse, and Sam Humphrey, a data scientist.

Clare is essentially the clinical face of the charity, and with her broad spectrum of knowledge, she described the complexity of cancer and the importance of understanding the origins of the disease.

In an extensive, interdisciplinary field of research, Sam specialises in the study of bioinformatics to understand the causes of lung cancer.

Together, they spoke about the infinite types of cancer that exist from the unique mutations of everyone’s own DNA – which means that treatments aren’t always successful for everyone. This talk highlighted the significance of the research into cancer to improve the success rates of treatments and diagnoses, in order to help beat cancer.

Sam said that scientists were often stereotyped in the media but, in fact, the work being carried was a collaboration of physicists, chemists, biologists, clinicians and many more. He told the team that: “Cancer is not beaten by a single person. What beats cancer is the combination of people from different disciplines and expertise”.

As Cancer Research UK is not funded by the government donations are vital for research like this to continue, so please help us raise as much money as we can to help this work by donating now.