It’s thanks in part, to our incredible supporters, including those leaving gifts in Wills, that we’re able to consistently fund world-class cancer research to help more people than ever survive their cancer. In the 1970s, just 1 in 4 people in the UK survived cancer for 10 years or more. Today, that figure has doubled. We’ve come so far, but we still need to go further and faster.

In the North West, around 43,600 people are diagnosed with cancer every year*, and sadly, approximately 19,400 people do not survive their disease**. We urgently need to advance research to improve survival for people with cancer. To achieve this, we need your support.

Our pioneering work across the UK, including in the North West, benefits from the generosity of supporters leaving a gift to Cancer Research UK in their Will. In fact, legacy gifts fund a third of our research. These legacies are vital because they enable us to commit to long-term research projects to improve our understanding of cancer biology and develop new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. They allow us to achieve breakthroughs beyond today's knowledge and technological capabilities and continue to save lives for generations to come.

By equipping our researchers with tools to support their development and progression, we’re investing in the scientific leaders of tomorrow who will help create a world where people live longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer. We recognise that a diverse research community with people with various skills and perspectives is essential to delivering our mission to beat cancer. But while women and men are roughly equal proportions of our research community at earlier career stages, we know that women may face more barriers when progressing to senior positions.

One researcher in our community is Alexandra Hendry, who is based at our Manchester Institute. As a woman in science, Alexandra is at the start of her scientific career, exploring the ways in which both healthy cells and cancer cells divide and grow.

Cancer is a disease of our cells, and it’s critical that we understand how they divide and grow. In healthy cells, the process of cell division is very tightly controlled – the cells have a network of signals that tell them when to grow, and when to stop growing. Cancer cells rewire these networks, overriding these tight controls and ignoring signals that tell them to stop growing. Alexandra is studying a key signalling pathway within this network to better understand it's function, and how this pathway is altered or exploited by cancer cells. By learning about these processes, we can identify cancer’s weaknesses and use them to develop new, more effective treatments.

Gifts in Wills are a vital way to support the work of our dedicated and driven scientists. As Alexandra says,

"Without gifts in Wills I wouldn't be able to do the work I do".

Thanks in part to gifts in Wills, we’re able to fund researchers like Alexandra. By pledging to support Cancer Research UK, you enable us to invest in transformational research and harness the knowledge we need to make a difference for people affected by cancer. 

Our researchers, including Alexandra, are revolutionising what we know about cancer and how we can beat it. Join us and make cancer a thing of the past.

To get your free gifts in Wills guide, visit

* Based on the average annual number of new cases of cancer excl. NSMC (ICD10 C00-C97 excl. C44) diagnosed in the North West between 2017 and 2019. 

** Based on the average annual number of deaths from cancer (ICD10 C00-C97) in the North West between 2017 and 2019