New Irish stamps support Cancer Awareness
22 September 2023
An Post has issued two new stamps promoting Cancer Awareness, highlighting the vital role that Research and Care play in helping people to live well, with and beyond cancer. Irish Cancer Society CEO, Averil Power joined An Post CEO, David McRedmond to unveil the stamps at An Post’s HQ at the EXO, ahead of World Cancer Research Day on Sunday 24th September, in this the 60th anniversary year of the Irish Cancer Society.
The new stamps feature two themes:
Hope in Research, recognising massive investment in research in both the treatment and care settings, which ensures patients receive the best outcomes. This is a fast-paced environment and the improvements experienced by patients in the past 60 years are remarkable.
Strength in Community, representing the wide range of treatment and care services through which cancer patients and their loved ones receive much needed supports, while they are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis, and the power of connection and keeping in touch to support each other.
The two ‘N’ stamps cover letter postage within the island of Ireland and were designed by Dublin design agency, Zero-G. Together with a specially designed First Day Cover envelope, they are available online at www.anpost.com/shop (with free delivery) and at selected post offices nationwide.
When the Irish Cancer Society first began Daffodil Day (in 1986), just 3 out of 10 Irish people survived a cancer diagnosis. Today, 6 out of 10 do and that is as a direct result of strides made in cancer research.
Averil Power welcomed the optimism of the stamp designs: “Thanks to advances in research, there are now over 200,000 people living with and beyond their cancer diagnosis in Ireland today. Some cancers like childhood blood cancers that were previously nearly always fatal, are now largely curable. 9/10 people also survive breast, prostate and testicular cancer. These stamps celebrate the improvements in earlier diagnosis and novel treatments that have made this possible. They also mark the breakthroughs that research has enabled in cancer prevention and better quality of life for survivors. Another vital aspect is hope. Hope that in future, no one will die from the disease and that those living with and beyond cancer will have long, fulfilling lives with a wonderful quality of life.”
Averil Power noted the Irish Cancer Society’s achievements: “The Irish Cancer Society has a proud history of investing in cancer research. Since 1979, due to the incredible support of our donors, we have funded over 450 research projects amounting to a massive €60 million investment into improving the lives of everyone affected by cancer. As the largest voluntary funder of Cancer Research in the Republic of Ireland we are committed to establishing and supporting collaborative cancer research, bringing clinicians, nurses, allied health professionals, lab scientists, and other researchers together to increase the pace of discovery.”
David McRedmond said “World Cancer Research Day on September 24th marks the drive towards world class, cutting edge cancer treatment, leading to incredible leaps in improving the lives of people affected by cancer, now and for generations to come. We can all support this vital work by raising awareness, making donations or volunteering, to improve survival rates and ensure that our families, friends, and colleagues have the best possible care, living with cancer and beyond.”
An Post encourages customers to help raise awareness by using the Cancer Research and Care stamps, and a free postcard in all main post offices to send a personal note to someone living with or beyond a cancer diagnosis, or to support a loved one working in healthcare to provide quality treatment and practical care.
Notes to Editor from Irish Cancer Society:
In May, the Irish Cancer Society announced a new strategic partnership with Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital designed to develop an outstanding programme of for people affected by cancer in Ireland. The five-year collaboration will see the Society invest €4.5million in several specific exemplar programmes aimed at delivering a new model of cancer care for patients in Ireland.
By investing in the Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute (TSJCI) the Irish Cancer Society aims to accelerate the translation of cancer research into new treatments and better support for patients. The partnership will integrate Irish Cancer Society services into the hospital pathway and enhance the patient experience by ensuring better collaboration with patients across research, cancer clinical trials, clinical care, and education.
The largest single investment in cancer research ever made by the Irish Cancer Society over the last 60 years was the BREAST-PREDICT programme. This €7.5 million Collaborative Cancer Research Centre was established in 2013 and involved over 50 researchers working together all across Ireland towards the common goal of personalised breast cancer medicine. The achievements of BREAST-PREDICT were numerous with over 3,400 patients recruited into 9 clinical studies, and 24 novel therapeutics and diagnostic tests developed. One of the most impressive developments from BREAST-PREDICT was the evidence of the impact that research collaboration can have, paving the way for future initiatives.
One such initiative is Precision Oncology Ireland (POI), the largest translational cancer research programme in the country which is co-funded by Science Foundation Ireland. POI is a consortium of 5 Irish Universities, 6 Irish Charities, and 7 industry partners aiming to develop new diagnostics and therapeutics for personalised cancer treatment. The Society is a proud partner of Precision Oncology Ireland, directly co-funding the development of new methods to identify which cancer treatments will work best for breast cancer based on their individual genetic make-up and the type of cancer they have. This is a move towards more personalised medicine allowing a greater understanding of the unique aspects of the disease and treatment responses in individuals affected by cancer. POI research is still ongoing, but the expected outcomes of this research programme will range from diagnostic tests for cancer to novel drugs and improved treatment combinations.
Thanks to advances in research, there are now over 200,000 people living with and beyond their cancer diagnosis in Ireland today. An important goal of Irish Cancer Society is ensuring that people affected by cancer have happy and fulfilling lives. Survivorship research seeks to improve the care and quality of life experienced by people living with and beyond cancer. The Irish Cancer Society funds survivorship research in areas such as quality and experience of treatment and care, psycho-social effects of cancer and its treatment, self-management, health information and literacy, genetic risk, and counselling as well as physical and practical needs. One such study is The Women’s Health Initiative, a ground-breaking initiative which aims to address a long-standing gap in the identification and management of symptoms and side effects for women which have resulted from their cancer and treatments. The Women’s Health Initiative aims to improve health and wellbeing for women cancer survivors at all stages of their cancer journey through the establishment of pilot clinics based in Cork, Dublin, and Galway. To date, the Irish Cancer Society have provided almost €1 million euro in funding to these clinics to provide much need supports for women affected by cancer all across the country.