The University of Birmingham’s iconic clock tower ‘Old Joe’ turns pink this evening to mark the start of Breast Cancer Now’s annual awareness month.

old joe pink high res

This year the University has joined forces with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust and the QEHB Charity to mark Breast Cancer Awareness month.  

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK affecting almost 50,000 women and 350 men each year. Researchers at the University of Birmingham are working hard to find new ways to treat and diagnose breast cancer. From breast cancer genetics to clinical trials, we have scientists, consultants and breast surgeons who deal with patients every day. 

Dr Jo Morris, a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham’s School of Cancer Sciences said: 

“Progress over the last 30 years has significantly improved survival for breast cancer patients, a combination of breast screening, improved diagnosis and therapies that target sub-types of breast cancer have made a difference, but it’s not beaten yet.

Our own work is examining the way that the gene BRCA1 acts in cells to protect against the development of breast cancer. We’re learning that it helps to protect breast cells from DNA damage. I’m delighted ‘Old Joe’ is highlighting breast cancer awareness month, to remind us all what we can do to consign fear of this dreadful cancer to the past.”  

Our ‘breast aware’ video, put together by University cancer research specialists, provides advice and guidance on screening and early diagnosis:

University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) is taking the opportunity to urge ladies to say ‘yes’ to breast screening. The Trust runs the South Birmingham Breast Screening Service which invites over 15000 ladies a year for a mammogram. The Breast Screening team will be holding an information stand in the atrium of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham on 5th, 6th, 13th and 20th October. There will also be the chance to win a fantastic prize in the raffle for Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer, supported by QEHB Charity. For more information about the Charity or to support breast services at UHB, please visit