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Breakthrough Cancer Research Secure €115k in Funding

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09 May 2024

Breakthrough Cancer Research Secure €115k in Funding to Tackle Cancer Inequalities

 Cancer Charity Announces Partnership with Royal London Ireland

Breakthrough Cancer Research, a cancer-focused medical research charity has announced a new €115k charity partnership with Royal London Ireland, one of the leading life insurance and pensions companies in Ireland, to tackle inequalities that exist in the survival rates of some cancers.1 Through advances in awareness, screenings and research innovations, the 5-year survival rates for cancers like breast and prostate cancer are over 88% according to the National Cancer Registry Ireland.2 However, other cancers like pancreatic, oesophageal, lung, liver, ovarian, stomach and brain cancers have not seen the same levels of investment or subsequent survival rates, and some of these cancers currently have a 5-year survival rate as low as just 14%.2

The partnership will primarily fund research projects in the Breakthrough Cancer Research innovation fund, which focus on the cancers that have the lowest survival rates in Ireland. It will also fund the creation of evidence-based subject matter, training and resources to create more awareness, break down barriers around health education and dispel some of the myths surrounding cancer.

One in two people in Ireland will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime and, one person dies from cancer in Ireland every hour.3 Cancer inequalities, due to factors such as socioeconomic status, education, gender, ethnicity, age, and even geographical location, can also significantly influence health outcomes, particularly in the context of cancer.

Orla Dolan, CEO of Breakthrough Cancer Research, commented: “Research plays a pivotal role in making more survivors of cancer. Today, many more individuals are surviving a cancer diagnosis than ever before, a testament to the transformative power of research. Just 50 years ago, the five-year survival rates for breast and prostate cancer were below 50pc, but through dedicated research, these rates now exceed 88% and 93% respectively.3

“By channelling more funding into targeted and impactful research, we can pave the way for even more success stories. The partnership with Royal London Ireland and the funding that it provides is crucial in enabling us to continue our research goals of addressing cancer inequalities and ultimately improving cancer survival rates for all. 

“This new partnership will help fund programmes spanning early diagnosis, screening, and groundbreaking innovations for hard-to-treat cancers. Ultimately, our collective efforts in this crucial area will ensure that everyone affected by cancer has access to the comprehensive care they need to save more lives."

Aligned with its purpose4, Royal London Ireland’s current social impact strategy is dedicated to fostering meaningful societal change by assisting individuals in building financial resilience and transitioning equitably towards a sustainable world. This commitment is demonstrated by their backing of Irish social enterprises through the Changemakers programme and their ongoing financial resilience partnership with the Irish charity, Family Carers Ireland. This new partnership will enable Royal London Ireland to contribute to protecting their customers, and the broader community against future life shocks, such as a cancer diagnosis.

Noel Freeley, Chief Executive Officer at Royal London Ireland, said:

As a company who provides protection through life insurance to our customers, we understand the devastating impact of cancer, which is the biggest cause of death in Ireland. Proudly, we were fully involved in the creation of the ‘Insurance Ireland Code of Practice for Underwriting Mortgage Protection Insurance for Cancer Survivors’ introduced last December. We are firmly committed to complying with this industry-led Code of Practice, which provides easier and quicker access to Mortgage Protection insurance for many consumers who have suffered from cancer in the past, particularly those who may otherwise have been declined for cover or accepted at a significant additional premium.

Royal London Ireland is very proud of its new partnership with Breakthrough Cancer Research, aimed at supporting the lifesaving work the charity does through their ongoing research into the disease. This partnership will focus on funding research, while increasing awareness of cancers with the lowest survival rates. Aligned with Royal London Ireland’s purpose, 'Protecting today, investing in tomorrow. Together we are mutually responsible', the outcome of this partnership is to help reduce cancer inequalities, which have a significant impact on the outcome for those affected, for this and future generations.”

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