Involvement in our work, with people affected by cancer

Many of you are passionate about the work you do with us and want to share your story. You've also helped us with lots of projects in our charity that has had a positive impact on our work. Here, we find out what motivated you, what you've done to support us and how you found your experience of getting involved with Cancer Research UK.

Meet Victor


Victor, a former Oncologist was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2014. His daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. Victor advocates for people affected by cancer by being part of several panels and forums at Cancer Research UK, Myeloma UK, and other charities. This includes being part of our Cancer Insights Panels and Patient Involvement Network. He is also involved with his local carers forum having looked after his wife who had Alzheimer’s disease.

Creating more inclusive imagery

women looking at leaflets

Over the past year, the Cancer Insight Panels have played a key role in supporting the Strategic Evidence team’s Inclusive Imagery project. The project started back in October 2022. Its goal was to create a bank of diverse, culturally sensitive photography that portrayed key moments in cancer screening and symptom investigation for use across our public, patient, and health professional content.

Shaping our Environmental Sustainability Strategy

relaxing in a pool

Cancer Research UK’s mission is to beat cancer, and we recognise and understand the impact of climate change on our mission and how important it is to operate sustainably. When developing our first Environmental Sustainability strategy at CRUK, we involved people affected by cancer in our early stage thinking, to help us understand how important climate change is to the operations and future of our work. Thanks to your help, we have now published our first Environmental Sustainability Strategy.

Cancer Awareness in the Workplace


The Cancer Awareness in the Workplace programme works with companies across the UK to support employees in reducing their risk of cancer and take positive action for their health. To aid the growth of the programme, two people affected by cancer were recruited in April 2023 to support the development of the resources and products and to ensure the programme has the biggest impact.

Meet Faaria


Faaria is from the North of England and is mum to three grown-up children. She has a love of cars, collectibles, and cats! Faaria fits being a member of our insights panel alongside being her father’s main carer and running a business she’s passionate about with her husband. Faaria was diagnosed with Indolent Follicular Lymphoma in 2010. With the support of her family, she went through chemotherapies and a stem cell harvest and chose to get involved with our work whilst having a period of relatively good health, although has bouts of chronic fatigue.

Meet Andrew


Andrew, who has a background in communications and marketing, decided to join our insights panel to share his lived experience. He has been diagnosed with cancer twice and has seen the impact it has on family members. As a gay man, he wanted to help shape and ensure that the LGBTQ+ community is considered and represented.

How you shaped our health information


Last year, teams across Cancer Research UK launched a project to raise awareness of ways to stop smoking and encourage people to take action. People affected by cancer played a key role in helping us develop the posters whilst ensuring the tone was sensitive to patients and the wider public.

Children’s and Young People’s Cancer Research Conference

CYP Conference

Cancer Research UK was delighted to introduce the first in-person Children’s and Young People’s Cancer Research Conference as part of our 2023 research event series. This was an opportunity for scientists and researchers from across the UK to share updates about their work to improve how we understand and treat children's cancers. The event featured two guest speakers, who are both on our Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Insights Panel, Sarah and Shauyma.

Shaping ‘Longer, better, lives: A manifesto for cancer research and care’

longer better lives logo

Cancer Research UK recently launched a report that sets out the immediate measures and long-term commitments the next incoming government can make to improve cancer outcomes in the UK. Our Cancer Insights Panels, Involvement Network members, and those less close to Cancer Research UK were involved in different stages of developing the report.

Involving people in research into early detection and prevention of cancer

Ally Boyle


Cancer Research UK recruited new representatives to join their Patient and Public Involvement Panel supporting research into early detection and prevention of cancer. Since its creation the panel has provided a public voice and perspective to applications for new research proposals. Last year, we decided to refresh and expand the group, to increase representation from underrepresented groups. 

Life is worth Racing For!

two people running in park

Since 1994, over 10 million people have taken part in Race for Life. Together, we’ve raised over £970 million towards life-saving research. In 2024, Race for Life got a new look with our refreshed brand, which was developed in collaboration with people affected by cancer. Find out more and watch our new TV ad.

Junior Investigator Network Group (JING) 2024


Patient Representative Patrick Mc Guire co-delivered the opening presentation with Senior Patient Involvement Officer, Alison Reeve, at this year's Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC) held their annual Junior Investigator Network Group (JING) training event in Manchester.

Developing our ‘We Are’ campaign with people affected by cancer

campaign photo

We're proud that people affected by cancer are at the heart of our campaigns. We involved people affected by cancer in our new 'we are' campaign as early as possible in the process, to ensure they could meaningfully influence the look and feel of the TV ads. This included two group meetings, one email consultation with our Policy and Communications Cancer Insights Panel, and a survey with the Online Cancer Insights Panel. Read the positive impact your involved had.

Early Detection Conference

attendee of early detection conference

Members of our Patient Involvement Network and team went along to the annual Early Detection of Cancer Conference from 10-12 October in London. The conference is organised by Cancer Research UK in partnership with Canary Centre at Stanford and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. 

A social event for our Cancer Insights Panel Social

Social event

We hosted our first-ever hybrid social event for members of our Cancer Insights Panels at our head office in Stratford, London. It was organised to recognise our panel members' contributions and provide an opportunity for them to meet and connect with each other and staff in person.

Meet Bettina


Jamaican-born, mother of 3 and grandmother of 5 Bettina is a retired Civil Servant and Florist. She is a member of our Patient Involvement Network and Online Cancer Insights Panel. For Black History Month, we asked Bettina to share her experience of being involved in Cancer Research UK’s work and how she is using her voice to improve awareness of cancer in her community and sharing her experience of cancer as a black woman to help shape our work.

Meet Steve


Retired NHS worker Steve is from East Yorkshire. Diagnosed and treated over 30 years ago, he’s a long-term survivor of metastatic testicular seminoma. Steve’s sister had ovarian cancer and went through a similar treatment pathway and sadly passed away in 2017 following a recurrence. Steve joined our panel to use his personal experience of cancer and as a loved one to provide valuable feedback via short, quick-response surveys. He shares why he decided to join.

Creating our Manifesto for Cancer Research and Care

manifesto logo

Cancer Research UK will publish a report by the end of 2023 setting out clear actions to be taken by Government which would lead to significant improvements in cancer research, prevention, and services. Read more about our Manifesto and how we involved people affected by cancer in our evidence and insight gathering.

Meet Ellen

Ellen having a walk in woods

Musical theatre lover Ellen is a member of our Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People Insights Panel and lives in London with her dog Bella. Ellen joined the panel after being diagnosed with leukemia. She wanted to give something back and share her experiences and voice for future projects and research.

Shaping the Annual Supporter Update


The Annual Supporter Update is designed to inspire belief in our ability to bring about a world where everybody lives longer, better lives, free from the fear of cancer. In advance of publishing this year’s report the Online Cancer Insight Panel were invited to read an early version of the report and share their feedback.

Meet Sarifa


Sarifa joined our Research & Strategy Cancer Insights Panel after being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer 10 years ago. She has lived experience of disability, and English as a second language. She's also a member of the Asian community and with it brings a fresh perspective to our meetings. Find out what motivated her to apply.

Meet James


James joined our Children & Young People Insights Panel following first-hand experience of cancer from both his wife and son being diagnosed during the same period. He wanted to do something positive to help families like his in the future.

Supporting people affected by cancer and mental health

holding hands

Earlier this year we invited people affected by cancer who've struggled with their mental health to attend focus groups to share what impact a cancer diagnosis can have on mental health. This insight helped to shape our new ‘Mental health and cancer’ pages.

Our commitment to you and Patient & Public Involvement

three people walking down the road together

We’re proud to announce that along with the Health Research Authority, the National Institute for Health Research, and a host of other organisations, we’ve signed up to a shared commitment to public involvement.

"Like Cancer Research UK, I've just had my 20th birthday!"


Shaumya, a member of the Children and Young People’s Insights Panel is from Eastbourne but has recently moved to Glasgow to study medicine at university. Here, Shaumya shares her story and tells us how it feels to be the same age as Cancer Research UK!

Ways to get involved

Take part in a current opportunity

Share your experience of cancer to help make sure our work meets the needs of others who have been affected.