Cancer Alliance

Category

Cancer Champions

Image of the breast cancer screening unit at Castle Hill Hospital. The unit white and decorated with the NHS logo and 'Humberside Breast Screening Unit' title

Local Cancer Champion encourages others to ‘go and get checked’ after attending a breast screening appointment

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Champions | No Comments

“Go and get checked. The staff know it is a frightening time, but be assured they are equipped to deal with your fears and help you every step of the way.”

After recently attending a breast screening appointment at Castle Hill Hospital in Hull, Jennie Salisbury, a 54 year old wife, mother, nanna, and Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Champion is now urging others to do the same after hearing concerns that the fear of Covid-19 may be deterring people from attending.

Jennie said: I received a letter inviting me to a breast screening appointment back in January. Initially I was a little hesitant about going because I have been anxious to venture out during lockdown, but then I remembered the promise I made to my sister, who died from breast cancer, that I would never miss an appointment.

The national breast screening programme invites women between the ages of 50 and 70 to have their breasts screened every three years. At the start of the pandemic, the programme was temporarily paused across Humber, Coast and Vale however, the service has now resumed and safety measures have been put in place to protect both staff and patients.

Jennie said: “I noticed a lot of safety measures in place at the breast screening unit. Hand sanitisers were available and there was a lot of distance between the chairs. When called through for my appointment, the Technician was busy sanitising the equipment and during every part of the procedure she sanitised her hands. The whole appointment took 15 mins and within half an hour I was back home.”

Photo of Jennie. Jennie has blonde hair and wears glasses. She looking at the camera and smiling. Jennie is wearing a black jumper.

Jennie was pleased to receive all clear results within a week of her appointment and is now advising other women to attend, when invited. Jennie said: “My advice is to go and get checked. The staff know it is frightening times but be assured they are equipped to deal with your fears and talk to you every step of the way. Having previously attended Cancer Champion training, I know how important it is to attend cancer screening appointments and I hope that by sharing my experience, other women will feel assured about attending screening during COVID-19.”

In this video, Hull CCG GP Dr Amy Oehring explains why attending a breast screening is so important:

To learn more about the early signs and symptoms of cancer, sign up for a free 90 minute Cancer Champion awareness session or click here to find out more.

Meet the Team: Cancer Champions

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Alliance, Cancer Champions

Over the last two years, Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance have helped to raise awareness of cancer by delivering free Cancer Champion awareness sessions to over 2,000 people across the Humber, Coast and Vale region.

Here you can find out more about the trainers behind the programme, as Emma, Zoe and Sarah share information about the programme, their roles and what it means to be a Cancer Champion.

Photo of Emma Lewin, volunteer co-ordinator is stood in front of a brick wall holdig a photo prop of the Cancer Champions logo. Emma is looking at the camera and smiling. She has blonde shoulder length hair, a fringe and glasses. She is wearing a pink top and grey trousers.

Emma Lewin
Volunteer Co-ordinator

Tell us a little bit about yourself
I have worked for the NHS for 8 years in administrative roles after working in the private sector in a variety of industries. I received a Business Administration degree last year (quite a few years after leaving school at the age of 16).

I have a 10 year old daughter and was very proud when she was telling me about the nurse coming to her school to talk about “body changes” and they mentioned about breast checking and how important this is. She told them, “I already know about this, as mummy talks about doing this in her job”.

What is the best part of your job?
I have loved getting out and about to deliver the Cancer Champion sessions around Humber, Coast and Vale area over the last 2 years and have met hundreds of people, helped make them aware about the early signs and symptoms of cancer and heard their stories.

During the first lockdown, we were able to develop our Cancer Champion workshops so that we could continue to deliver them albeit virtually, so that we can continue sharing the important messages about cancer and screening.

What does delivering Cancer Champion awareness sessions mean to you?
I was diagnosed in 2002 with a benign brain tumour and received stereotactic radiotherapy which shrank it in size and meant that no further treatment was required. I also have friends and family who have been diagnosed with cancer and this is something that inspires me to want to help more people to be aware of those early signs and symptoms of cancer and help them to seek assistance early.

If you share one piece of advice about cancer, what would it be?
Know your body – what is “normal” for you and be aware if anything changes; a lump that appears, a cough that doesn’t clear or sudden weight loss/gain without trying and that if something changes to seek medical assistance.

Sarah Patten
Project Officer

Tell us a little bit about yourself
I joined the Cancer Champion programme in 2019 after my best friend was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She was only 36, had two young children and was recently separated from her husband. I’ll never forget her words “I have breast cancer, I’m scared I’m going to die”. Thankfully the cancer hadn’t spread and I supported her through her cancer treatment, seeing first hand, the impact her diagnosis had, on both her and her family. It was at the same time I learnt that 1 in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime.

As a Cancer Champion trainer, I love being able to inspire people to feel confident talking about cancer and to promote the importance of the NHS cancer screening programmes, all of which aim to detect cancer at an early stage.

Photo of Sarah Patten stood in front of a brick wall. Sarah has short dark hair and is looking at the camera smiling. She is holding a photo prop which is of an enlarged Cancer Champion logo.

What is the best part of your job?
Receiving the ‘Cancer Champion Pledges’ after each session.   It’s fantastic when you read what impact the session has had and reading how Cancer Champions plan to use their ‘new’ knowledge about cancer, signs and symptoms and to share our vital cancer messages. A great example, “I pledge to encourage my children to get into good habits of self-checking themselves on a regular basis and to continue to do so. I also now have the information and knowledge to talk confidently and sign post people I come into contact with regarding getting checked out when necessary.”

What does delivering Cancer Champion awareness sessions mean to you?
I feel extremely privileged to be able to support people to recognise the early signs and symptoms of cancer, and truly believe that our programme of awareness makes a huge difference, enabling people to detect cancer as early as possible. It’s fantastic to be able to embrace the new ‘virtual’ world of delivering Cancer Champion awareness sessions, allowing us to reach many more people over a large geographical area.

If you share one piece of advice about cancer, what would it be?
Try to surround yourself with a network of people who remind you regularly how fantastic you’re doing, who encourage you to share how you’re feeling, remind you to celebrate the good days and accept there will be bad days. #itsokaytonotbeokay

Photo of Zoe Bounds standing in front of a brick wall. Zoe is holding a photo prop of the Cancer Champion logo. Zoe is smiling and has shoulder length, dark, hair.

Zoe Bounds
Project Officer

Tell us a little bit about yourself
First and foremost I’m a Mum to 4 amazing children. I’m an ex special needs teacher and twice cancer survivor having had Ovarian cancer in 1995 at the age of 17 and Breast cancer in 2013 at 35. I originate from the Midlands and brought my children up in Cornwall. Whilst I miss the Cornish beaches, I’m very much at home here in York, especially having found a couple of stunning beaches on the Yorkshire coast.  I run a local breast cancer support charity in my spare time and my weekends are spent walking my dog Riley, watching my son play football or cooking with my daughter. I can bake far too well and I crochet not well enough.

What is the best part of your job?
Making a lasting, often life-long impact on people’s lives. The messages we deliver can be passed out far and wide as well as down the generations and have the potential to save many lives. Recently, I had a message from someone had heard me speak about cancer awareness. She wrote “A few months ago I found a lump. Thanks to you I knew how to check. It turned out it was ‘just’ a cyst but if it hadn’t been for you I might not have known to check myself regularly. I just wanted to say thank you and keep doing what you do”. This is all the evidence I need to continue to have a passion for spreading cancer awareness.

What does delivering Cancer Champion awareness sessions mean to you?
It’s personal. I often joke that I’m so fed up of cancer forcing its way into my life that I have taken this job to gain some control over which area of my life it is involved with… but seriously, I do want to combine my cancer experiences with my teaching skills to try and limit the amount of people who have similar experiences to mine as both my cancers were found at stage 3, so my treatments have been gruelling and left me with lifelong side effects, as well as seriously impacting on my family and friends around me.

If you share one piece of advice about cancer, what would it be?
Cancer isn’t going away any time soon, so let’s protect ourselves with the information we need to spot cancers at the earliest possible stage, so that they can be treated less invasively and have the most successful outcomes. I’m sure we’d all agree that cancer isn’t the most cheery of subjects, but knowing that 1 in 2 people in the UK will develop cancer in their life time and that more than 50% of people diagnosed with cancer survive it, clearly shows that cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence anymore.

The Cancer Champion team do our best to make the session light and add some humour and we know it’s well received. One of our recently trained Cancer Champions told us “In those short 90 minutes I leant so much about cancer and also really enjoyed myself – something I didn’t expect with such a serious topic!”

Become a Cancer Champion

It’s easier than you think to make a difference. Take part in free a 90 minute cancer awareness session and learn how to spot the early signs and symptoms of cancer.

Sign Up

Free online sessions launched to raise cancer awareness and help save lives through early diagnosis.

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Champions

Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance has launched free online Cancer Champion sessions to help raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and encourage early detection within local communities.

Individuals across Hull, York, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, Scarborough and Ryedale can now register for free one hour Cancer Champion sessions, which teach people about the key facts, statistics, symptoms and screenings for a number of cancers.

Each week, 78 families within the Humber, Coast and Vale region lose a loved one to cancer. The Cancer Champion Programme aims to save lives by promoting healthy lifestyle choices and encouraging early detection of cancer, when treatment could be simpler and more successful.

Emma Lewin, Volunteer Co-ordinator for the Cancer Champion Programme, said: “We originally launched the Cancer Champion Programme in September 2018 and have so far trained over 1,800 people however, since the beginning of lockdown we have been unable to deliver our regular face-to-face sessions. We have now adapted our workshops to be able to offer the same service virtually.

“Cancer Champions are equipped with the knowledge needed to raise awareness about cancer, engage in conversations which could help to reduce the risk of cancer and encourage early diagnosis.

“Our online sessions are easily accessible and everyone who completes the course will receive a copy of our virtual handbook, a certificate and complimentary badge.”

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead for Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance, explained why the Cancer Champion training sessions are so important: “We know that diagnosing cancer early can save lives, but during the COVID-19 pandemic fewer people came forward to speak to us when experiencing early symptoms of cancer.

“Cancer Champion awareness sessions support members of our communities to talk about cancer and encourage others to uptake cancer screening invitations or contact their GP if they have any concerning symptoms.”

The introduction of the virtual Cancer Champion training means there are now cancer awareness sessions available in all areas of Humber, Coast and Vale – with a similar service established in North East Lincolnshire.  Care Plus Group are offering virtual Cancer Champion training to individuals within North East Lincolnshire. For more information about Care Plus Group Cancer Champion training, please email CPG.collaborative@nhs.net

To sign up for a Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Champion Awareness session, visit: www.hcvcanceralliance.org.uk/cancerchampions.

Championing conversations about cancer

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Champions

Having recently taken part in Cancer Champion training, Beccy Suddes quickly put what she had learned into practice by engaging in conversations that would help raise cancer awareness with her family and friends.

Within a week, Beccy and her three daughters had signed up to the Coppafeel text reminder service and conversed about how to spot the early signs and symptoms of cancer. Beccy said:

“Since attending my training session with Sarah at Haxby last week, I have signed my three daughters, 22, 20 and 19, and myself up to the Coppafeel text reminder service and tweeted Oddballs to find out if their Self check app will be available on iOS so that my son and hubby can sign up.  They said it would hopefully be available soon and in the meantime, I have got the boys to agree to check themselves when I remind them when I get my reminder.

I love to talk to people and will use the information from my Cancer Champion training to help make talking about cancer and spotting the early signs part of normal family conversations.”

Cancer Champion training sessions teach people about the key facts, statistics, symptoms and screenings which are linked to a number of cancers. Click here to reserve your place on an upcoming session or to find out more about the Cancer Champion programme.

Click here to register for Coppafeel text reminder service.

Click here to view the OddBalls guide to checking yourself for testicular cancer.

 

York Racecourse staff become Cancer Champions ahead of Alliance Conference

By | Cancer Alliance, Cancer Champions | No Comments

Staff at York Racecourse have taken part in two Cancer Champion training sessions ahead of the Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance Conference next month.

Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance are hosting their first annual conference at York Racecourse on Thursday 5th March and staff were invited to attend free Cancer Champion training in preparation for the event.

The free training sessions taught staff at York Racecourse about the key facts, symptoms and screenings which are linked to a number of cancers and those who took part in the training will be wearing their Cancer Champion badges at the conference next month.

Cancer Champions raise awareness about cancer in their work place or community by engaging with people in conversation and encouraging others to take up cancer screening invitations or go to their GP if they have symptoms they are worried about.

Louise Daly, Commercial Manager at York Racecourse said: “Thanks to Sarah for the training at York Racecourse.  The delivery was superb and the content was extremely useful, informative and even surprising in parts. If only every human being could go through the training.”

Click here to find out more about Cancer Champion training, reserve your place on an upcoming session or book free training for a voluntary group or organisation.

Click here to register for the Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance Conference.

 

Raising Awareness: Cervical Cancer Prevention Week

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Cancer Alliance, Cancer Champions | No Comments

The 20th – 26th of January was Cervical Cancer Prevention week, an initiative set-up by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance used Cervical Cancer Prevention Week as an opportunity to go out and about across our area raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer.

Community Displays
We went out into the community and talked to people about the importance of taking up cervical screening invitations and booking their smear test at their GPs. We also wanted to understand the reason why women didn’t always take up their appointments.

Reasons, which included not having someone to look at their children, whilst they went for their screening appointment.  We talked to local nurseries who offered free childcare for those who needed it in order to attend.

Training Sessions

Our Cancer Champion team delivered awareness training sessions at a number of schools and colleges and also visited community venues to talk about cervical cancer and HPV.

Raising Awareness Online
We also ran a week long social media campaign to #endsmearfear and #smearforsmear providing information and advice for those worried about making an appointment and breaking the myths of cervical cancer and screening.

Time to Test

We were delighted that three employers across our area signed up to Jo’s Trust’s Time to Test pledge – Vale of York CCG, Unity Health and Photo My Product which encourages employees to attend their cervical screening appointment by giving them time to test. 

All three organisations extended the time to test pledge to bowel and breast screening.

All women aged 25 to 49 are offered a cervical screening test every three years, with those aged 50 to 64 are offered screening every five years.

What are the signs and symptoms of Cervical Cancer?

You should visit your doctor if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding during or after sex
  • Bleeding after you have been through the menopause
  • Any unpleasant vaginal discharge
  • Discomfort or pain during sex

These symptoms may also be signs of other common conditions and do not necessarily mean you have cancer, but should always be checked.

How can you reduce your risk of cervical cancer?
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust wants to ensure that all women and people with a cervix know how cervical cancer can be reduced. This means:

  • Attending cervical screening when invited
  • Knowing the symptoms of cervical cancer and seeking medical advice if experiencing any
  • Taking up the HPV vaccination if aged 11-18
  • Knowing where to find support and further information

Staff from East Riding Leisure become Cancer Champions

By | Cancer Champions | No Comments

Members of staff from East Riding Leisure Centres become Cancer Champions ahead of a new swim session pilot for people affected by cancer.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has introduced a two month swim session pilot aimed solely at people who are living with and beyond cancer. The private swim sessions are part of the council’s one year cancer awareness campaign and will take place at Francis Scaife, South Holderness and Withernsea Leisure Centres from May until July.

In support of the campaign, Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance has provided Cancer Champion training to staff from the three leisure centres ahead of the pilot sessions.  The Cancer Champion programme is designed to equip and empower individuals with the knowledge needed to raise awareness about cancer in their community. The free half day training is available to anyone and teaches key messages about prevention, screening and early diagnosis.  Cancer Champions are also encouraged to promote healthy lifestyle choices to others and to signpost people to access local services and visit their GP promptly with any concerns where appropriate.

Sam Taylor from Francis Scaife Leisure Centre attended the training and said, “A lot of people are affected by cancer and by becoming a Cancer Champion I now feel confident to share helpful information and advice with others as well as knowing more signs and symptoms of cancer.”

Timetable of swim sessions:

East Riding Leisure Francis Scaife Tuesdays from 1-2pm

East Riding Leisure South Holderness Thursdays from 3.15-4.15pm

East Riding Leisure Withernsea Tuesdays and Fridays from 2-3pm

To find out more about Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Champion Programme or to sign up for Cancer Champion training, email eryccg.cancerchampion@nhs.net.

To find out more information about cancer awareness, visit www.eastridinghealthandwellbeing.co.uk

To become involved in the council’s one-year cancer awareness campaign as a case study or a supporter, email Kimberley.nichol@eastriding.gov.uk or call (01482) 391444.

1000 and counting: Cancer Champion volunteer training programme reaches milestone

By | Cancer Champions | No Comments

The Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance recruited its 1,000th Cancer Champion on Monday (29th April), as supermarket chain Asda hosted a training event at its Mount Pleasant store community hub in east Hull.

Almost 20,000 people in the Humber, Coast and Vale area are diagnosed with cancer each year; a rate significantly higher than the England average. With research showing that 4 in 10 cancers are preventable, over 1,000 Cancer Champions now have the knowledge to raise awareness about early signs and symptoms, promote healthy lifestyle choices and increase uptake of screening in their communities. The free training supports people to openly talk about cancer with their friends and family, which could minimise the risk of cancer and improve survival rates by helping those with cancer get diagnosed and treated earlier.

Lucy Turner, Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance Programme Director, said: “This is a real milestone for the Cancer Alliance and I would like to thank each of the 1,000 champions who have given up their time to attend a Cancer Alliance training session.

“As a society, we are in a better position to fight cancer than ever before. Cancer Champions are a key part of our strategy to share knowledge across our communities.  We know that up to 40 per cent of cancers are preventable through lifestyle changes. We also know that cancers that have been diagnosed at an early stage, before they have had the chance to get too big or spread, are more likely to be treated successfully.

“I am proud to call myself a Cancer Champion.  I want to join my fellow champions to use our passion, training and knowledge to work within our communities to support those at risk of developing cancer as well as helping to prevent avoidable cancer deaths by encouraging people to take up cancer screening invitations or go to their GP if they have symptoms they are worried about.”

Sarah Cranswick, Community Colleague at Asda Mount Pleasant, said: “We would love to see more of the Cancer Champion training at ASDA and look forward to working closely with Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance in the future.”

To find out more about Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Champion Programme or to sign up for Cancer Champion training, email eryccg.cancerchampion@nhs.net.

X
Skip to content