Through our cancer awareness work, we are helping communities in Newcastle and Gateshead become more informed about cancer and the importance of screening in reducing risk.
Did you know that every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer? That’s a pretty shocking statistic and illustrates why our awareness raising work is so important in helping reduce people’s risk of developing cancer!
Coronavirus and cancer
The constant news about the coronavirus can be worrying for us all, however people with cancer and their families might feel especially worried about the virus, as cancer and its treatment can lower your ability to fight infection. If you are undergoing treatment doctors will where possible aim to continue with treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. But they might need to change your treatment or prioritise certain treatments over others.
There is also concern that people who have signs and symptoms of cancer are not contacting their GP or going for their routine screening. You should still contact your doctor if you notice a change that isn’t normal for you or you have possible symptoms of cancer as spotting cancer early means treatment is more likely to be successful.
This video highlights the importance of contacting your GP if you notice anything that is unusual for you, they are ready to help you.
Talk Cancer Awareness Sessions
We offer free Cancer Awareness Sessions in work places and community groups to provide information about how to spot early signs and symptoms of cancer and how to access local cancer screening programs. Participants will find out what we can all do to reduce the risk of getting cancer, including myth busting and breaking down the barriers around the word cancer.
The awareness sessions are part of the Cancer Research Talk Cancer training programme and are open to anyone who lives or works in Newcastle or Gateshead.
Participants will receive a Cancer Research Talk Cancer Certificate of Attendance upon completion.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic we’ve now taken this training online and are hosting 45 minute Cancer Awareness group sessions by Zoom! Since we launched them they have been hugely popular with the groups who have taken part, and as a result we have now extended this service.
These virtual sessions are available to groups and organisations in Newcastle and Gateshead. Participants will still receive a Talk Cancer Certificate of Achievement for participating so this is a great way to bring groups and teams together and develop individuals skills and knowledge further.
If you would be interested in hosting a virtual session within your group or organisation, please contact us to find out more.
Community Cancer Champions
Our Newcastle and Gateshead Community Cancer Champions are volunteers who work across Newcastle and Gateshead and raise awareness about cancer among their family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues. They do this by spreading key messages through word of mouth and information distribution and they can also signpost people to local services and support people to seek early medical assistance where appropriate.
Our team offers free Community Cancer Champion training which covers common types of cancers, reducing the risk of getting cancer, the importance of early detection and cancer screening. Please note that at present we are not offering face to face training due to coronavirus, however we are taking expressions of interest so if you would like to find out more or register an interest in becoming a Community Cancer Champion, please get in touch with us.
Currently the NHS offers screening routinely for three cancers – bowel, cervical and breast – and one of our key aims is to promote take up of these screening services.
We are on a mission to tell as many people as we can about the signs and symptoms of various cancers and also the importance of taking up screening invites when received.
In addition to attending screening when invited, it’s really important that you know your own body from head to toe so that you can check for anything that’s unusual for you.
Our “Take a Minute” awareness videos
To help get the message out there to as many people as possible, we have launched a series of Take a Minute videos on You Tube. Each one is around one minute in length and they focus on a range of common cancers and the importance of:
- Knowing your own body
- Attending screening
- Cutting your risk
The full playlist is available on our You Tube Channel (don’t forget to subscribe to get be the first to see our new videos).
So let’s “take a minute” to find out more about:
1. Breast Cancer
According to the NHS, Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer. Around 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, however there is a good chance of recovery if it’s detected at an early stage. That’s why it’s vital that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always have any changes examined by a GP, and if you are invited for screening then please go!
It’s important to check your breasts regularly and if you are not sure how to check your breasts or what you are looking for, Coppa Feel! has a great video to show you how.
We also think this is a useful video from the Know Your Lemons Foundation.
It’s also worth remembering that men can get breast cancer too, so it’s important that men check themselves regularly and seek medical advice if they find anything that is unusual!
Breastcancer UK has a quick online quiz that you can take to check if your lifestyle choices as helping reduce your risk of developing breast cancer, and you can take the quiz here.
2. Cervical Cancer
Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina) and mainly affects sexually active women aged between 30 and 45. Our Take a Minute video highlights some of the signs and symptoms and the importance of screening.
Cervical screening (some people may call this a “smear test”) is the best way you can reduce you risk of developing cervical cancer! They are nothing to worry about, only take minutes and contrary to popular belief they are not painful! Invites are sent out every three years and it is vital you attend your screening as it really could save your life!
This is a video from Cancer Research UK that will explain more about screening and why it is important.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust has some great videos and resources too.
3. Bowel Cancer
Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK, it can affect men and women and most people diagnosed with it are over the age of 60. This Take a Minute video tells you about what to look out for and how you can help cut your risk of developing bowel cancer.
To help reduce the number of bowel cancer cases the NHS sends out a testing kit to all adults aged 60 to 74 every two years. While you may not like the idea of the test it’s really important that you do it to help detect bowel cancer so you can get the treatment you need.
This video from Cancer Research UK helps to explain the test and how to do it.
There are some other cancers we’d like you to take a minute to find out more about too!
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. It usually develops slowly, so there may be no signs for many years. Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis (urethra). Signs of this may include an increased need to pee, straining when you pee and a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied. Don’t ignore these symptoms. they may not mean you have prostate cancer but it is worth getting them checked out.
Cancer of the testicle is unusual as it tends to mostly affect men between 15 and 49 years of age. Typical symptoms are a painless swelling or lump in 1 of the testicles, or any change in shape or texture of the testicles.
It’s important to be aware of what feels normal for you. Get to know your body and see a GP if you notice any changes.
Movember is a charity that aims to raise awareness of issues that affect men’s health such as testicular and prostate cancer, mental health and suicide. They have a great “Know thy nuts” video which highlights the importance of regularly checking your testicles for any changes,
Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. Around 47,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK. This Take a Minute video highlights signs and symptoms and also how you help can cut your risk.
Although people who have never smoked can develop lung cancer, smoking is the most common cause and 72% of cases are linked to smoking. It’s never too late to give up smoking and it is the best way to cut your risk. If you want to give up smoking you are up to three times more likely to succeed with the support of a stop smoking service such as the one to one support we offer. You can find out more about our Stop Smoking service and how to access it here.
Living with cancer
If you are living with cancer or are waiting to start treatment there are some helpful things you can do including eating healthily, taking physical activity and looking after your mental wellbeing.
Pop over to our Improving Wellbeing page where there is lots of information and resources to help you take care of your mind. If you are unable to get out and about you could take one of our Wellbeing Walks which bring an “outside-inside experience” to promote positive mental wellbeing for people who are unable to get out and about for whatever reason.
Reducing your risk
There are lots of ways you can help reduce the risk of developing many types of cancers, and you can start taking steps today with our support!
If you want to find out more about any of our services please contact us.