The Health and Wellbeing Collaboratives have today revealed the results of their annual Cancer Champions Survey.
Most notably an encouraging 82 percent of Cancer Champions responding have prompted someone to visit their doctor to check out cancer symptoms that are worrying them, since completing their Cancer Champions training through the Collaboratives.
Almost 20,000 people in Humber, Coast and Vale are diagnosed with cancer each year; a rate significantly higher than the England average.
Research also suggests that delays to cancer diagnosis and treatment due to the coronavirus pandemic could cause thousands of excess deaths in the UK within a year; as scientists suggest there could be at least 7,000 additional deaths.
Rachel Buckley, Health & Wellbeing Programme Manager for the Collaboratives, said: “We are thrilled at the latest results from our Cancer Champions Survey. It is really encouraging to see that people attending the course feel more confident to discuss cancer and particularly the early signs and symptoms.
“It is also fantastic that the participants that attended the course have since signposted a number of people to their GP for further advice following concerns. It is well documented that the sooner cancer is diagnosed the better the outcome for individuals.
“Survival rates for cancer are getting better and better and the training programme is another way of enabling people to feel more confident about discussing cancer with their family, friends and colleagues.”
Rachel added: “The training course is very informal and available for absolutely anybody that would like to attend. We’d love to have you as part of our cohort.”
The research done by the Collaboratives also reveals how participants have been spreading messages from their training. Just over half of respondents (52%) have displayed literature, such as posters or leaflets since their training. This is a significant increase on the previous year’s figure of 14 percent.
Under two thirds (62%) of people have handed out leaflets that were provided to them following their training to family, friends, colleagues, clients or community members; and 88 percent of respondents said they wear their Cancer Champions badge, which is an increase of 31 percent on last year’s figure.
Elsewhere, nearly three quarters (70%) of respondents confirmed that they have recommended someone for the Cancer Champions training.
Cancer Champions are ordinary members of the community raising people’s awareness about cancer simply by engaging in conversation. There are no prerequisites to become a cancer champion, with participants receiving training and a supportive handbook and leaflets.
The aim of the Cancer Champion is to share their knowledge to reduce the risk of a person getting cancer and helping to prevent avoidable cancer deaths by encouraging people to take up cancer screening invitations or seeking advice from their GP if they are worried about potential symptoms.
The next Cancer Champions session is scheduled for 23rd September through the use of Zoom.
If you would like to become a Cancer Champion, please contact the Collaboratives on 01472 232265 or email CPG.Collaborative@nhs.net for more information.