We were blown away by our inaugural #GenesDontCareWhatYouWear Day that took place on the 2nd October – the response has been absolutely amazing – not just from a donation point of view (though we smashed our target) but also from getting the message out there.

Our founder, Wendy, took part in an interview this morning on Radio 5 Live with the lovely Richard Horsley and his daughter Jill Ryder . Please have a listen by pressing the play button below:


Dr Stuart A McIntosh is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Surgical Oncology. He is an advisor to our BRCA group. Some of you may have been under his care at Belfast City Hospital or heard him speak at our information days. He has been in touch and is keen to hear from ladies in our group who would like to be part of a clinical trial called the Olympia Trial. This is a trial of olaparib for mutation carriers with a breast cancer. The details are on the CRUK website:

http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/find-a-clinical-trial/a-trial-to-see-if-olaparib-can-reduce-the-risk-triple-negative-breast-cancer-coming-back-after-treatment-olympia#undefined. Click on this link and read the details of the trial. I have taken this information from it;
“This trial is looking at a drug called olaparib to see if it reduces the risk of triple negative breast cancer coming back after treatment. If breast cancer doesn’t have receptors for the hormones progesterone and oestrogen, or for the protein HER2, it is called triple negative breast cancer. Doctors usually treat triple negative breast cancer with surgery and chemotherapy. You may also have radiotherapy. These are standard treatments.”
Researchers want to see if taking a drug called olaparib reduces the risk of breast cancer coming back after finishing standard treatment.

For further information please contact me ( wendy@breastcancergenetics.co.uk ).

Latest news!

ddlOur good friends, the Daily Dose Lads, are giving up alcohol for an entire month to raise money for us!


The National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline

The National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline was founded in 1996 by Wendy Watson, at a time when little or nothing was generally known about Hereditary Breast Cancer. How it all began:

Wendy held the first Hereditary Breast Cancer Awareness week to mark the launch of the helpline. This was warmly received by the whole genetic community and supported by the late Princess Diana (click the letter to the right to read). Two genes had at that time been found which, if faulty, conferred around an 80-90% breast cancer risk.

The main aim of the helpline was to ensure that those worried about their family history had access to full information on all the options currently available, referrals where appropriate, and full peer support for whatever option was chosen. Most importantly that those affected had the opportunity to make informed choices. It is also an important role of the helpline to reassure those worrying unnecessarily. To that end the Helpline has been enormously successful, given the feedback over this past 19 years.

From the outset one of the main problems was inequity of service. The Helpline was instrumental in bringing the ‘Management of women at risk’ to the attention of the DoH and in 2006 guidelines were developed and announced by NICE, with representation and approval from the Helpline. The Helpline has also been involved with the current moratorium on ‘Genetic testing and insurance’, and was also active in alerting the government to the worrying situation of the gene patent, which, if allowed to go forward, would have made genetic testing prohibitively expensive for the NHS, thus costing lives.

The Helpline is manned as near as possible 24 hours per day, every day, although an answering service is always available. To date many thousands of calls have been taken worldwide and Wendy has given numerous talks internationally. In 2001 Wendy was called upon to help advise on the launch of a similar incentive in the USA.

Wendy Watson Helpline Founder

Wendy Watson
Helpline Founder


Wendy held the first Hereditary Breast Cancer Awareness week to mark the launch of the helpline in 1996. This was warmly received by the whole genetic community and supported by the late Princess Diana (click the letter above to read).