Beatson scientist Emma wants your help to beat cancer

Emma Shanks, Beatson
Emma Shanks, Beatson

A CANCER scientist who survived the disease is backing a new campaign to stamp it out.

Mum-of-two Emma Shanks from Gartocharn near Drymen knows better than most the devastation of discovering she had the disease.

The 35-year-old has now teamed up with Cancer Research UK to highlight the power of research in beating cancer and encouraging people in the area to get involved.

Emma, who is based at the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute at Bearsden was diagnosed with tongue cancer for the fourth time in April 2012 when her daughter Isobel was just two weeks old.

A complex eight hour operation followed which saw a large section of her tongue removed and replaced with a graft from her forearm.

Fortunately, although distressing, the operation was a success and Emma has been told there is less than a three per cent chance that the cancer will return. She was diagnosed with cancer for the first time when she was just 22.

As part of her work as a Cancer Research UK scientist, Dr Shanks has plans to find out more about why oral cancer develops in younger people. She is also researching new ways to treat the disease.

Emma said: “I know from experience that research kills cancer. That’s why I’m supporting this vitally important campaign to help Cancer Research UK speed up the advances it is making in the battle against the disease.

“I am so grateful for the treatment that saved my life. Now I want to do everything I can to urge people to fight back against this devastating disease.”

Emma is encouraging local people to support Cancer Research UK in any way they can, whether it’s making a regular donation, volunteering, or getting involved with an event such as the charity’s flagship Race for Life series.

Recently, Emma also threw herself into fundraising, backing last year’s Stand Up To Cancer by baking cupcakes to sell.

She said: “It was really important to me to give something back which is why I decided to support Stand Up To Cancer.

“Success stories like mine would not be possible without the charity’s life-saving work, which in turn relies on everyone who raises money.”

With the number of people with cancer set to rise steeply by 2030, the charity has launched an inspiring new advertising campaign, which aims to raise money to accelerate its groundbreaking research and bring cures faster.

It features a series of TV, radio, and print adverts, as well as billboards across the UK, which carry the bold message ‘One day we will beat cancer. Help us make it sooner.’

BEATING CANCER . . . research scientist and former cancer patient Emma Shanks.