Birkbeck Integrative Centre for Building Resilience in Breast Cancer ( BRiC )

Welcome to Birkbeck's Centre for Building Resilience in Breast Cancer (BRiC). BRiC was founded by Naz Derakshan, who is a Professor of Experimental Psychopathology specialising in the cognitive neuroscience of anxiety and depression in the department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck University of London, UK. BRiC has one deputy head: Ms Anita Traynor, and six ambassadors: Jan Snape, Dr Caroline Humber, Fiona Gibson, Bal Nanray, Laura Ashurst, and Dr Bex Lewis. We are all women with a diagnosis of primary or secondary breast cancer.                                                                                                                                                                          

BRiC's Aims

Targeting Emotional and Cognitive Vulnerability in Breast Cancer:

BRiC's research aims to reduce the traumatic impact of diagnosis and harsh treatments including the classic chemo brain which is associated with anxiety and depression, to better the quality of life of women with breast cancer.  

Paving Pathways of Resilience in Breast Cancer: 

Resilience is the practice of adaptation, flexibility, and adjustment. When confronted with a life-threatening disease such as breast cancer, options become limited, priorities change, and we struggle to find our new 'normal'. Practicing resilience can help us endure the emotional roller coasters and the uncertainty we face. Resilience builds on neuroplasticity: the brain's ability to form new neural connections towards better mental and physical health. 

What has our research shown?

Our research has shown that simple cognitive exercises targeting cognitive efficiency can improve cognitive skills and reduce anxiety and depressive related symptoms longer term: Here’s a preview.

Our Support Network:

Our psycho-educational support network with around 1840 members, is open to any woman with a diagnosis of breast cancer in the UK. We provide a confidential and secure platform for members to engage in interactive and guided discussions to promote resilience in the face of trauma.  We publish summaries of our weekly group discussions (see knowledge transfer tab in menu), research and news features. We have over 4.9k followers already! If you want to join us click here.

Our Blog, Panning for Gold

We launched our award winning blog (as rated by @healthline), ‘Panning for Gold’ on World Cancer Awareness Day, 4th February 2016. It has had over 85K visitors so far. It is open to any woman living in the UK who wants to share their story on breast cancer.