Age UK Salford is supporting a Greater Manchester-wide campaign – Answer Cancer to help raise awareness and improve the uptake of screening, which can detect cancers early and in some cases, prevent them from developing.
The Answer Cancer Community Engagement team recently joined an Age-Friendly Salford ‘Ready to Go’ online session to share information.
The session was approached sensitively and the leader, Jade, advised those taking part to take a break or take time away from the chat and to get a cuppa if the conversation got too heavy.
The session enabled some of the participants to share their own experiences of cancer. A few participants had lost family members to cancer and some had already received cancer treatment in the past.
Jade from @AnswerCancerGM raised awareness of the signs & symptoms of bowel, cervical & breast cancer today. This can be difficult subject but one which is vital to save lives. Speak to your GP, don't wait for a screening appointment and don't be afraid to get a second opinion. pic.twitter.com/juAMz4QBZU
— Age Friendly Salford (@AgeSalford) July 19, 2021
One participant shared that they had lived with cancer. She said: “Attending screening appointments is vital, and could save your life, you need to go and face it, then you can get the treatment you need.”
The group also discussed barriers that prevent people from attending screening appointments or contacting their GP, which can save lives.
One said: “It could be fear of the unknown and limited knowledge. There needs to be better awareness, this could be part of the curriculum in schools.”
They agreed, some people are scared of the screening procedures and also having to deal with the positive result and therefore greater awareness would definitely benefit those who are nervous and anxious.
They also discussed the importance of making a list of what you want to discuss with your GP ahead of attending an appointment, to help you keep your conversation on track.
One man said: “Two years ago, I was living in London when I found a lump. I went to see a doctor and within two weeks I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and on the operating table. An early diagnosis can help to prevent it from developing further.”
Everyone agreed that they felt more informed about where to find information and the importance of attending a screening appointment for early diagnosis after the session.
Age UK Salford has planned some online awareness sessions with Jade in the next coming weeks, so all of their staff are equipped to share this vitally important information.
Find out more information about Answer Cancer here.
The ‘Ready to Go’ sessions are held online every Monday (11 am – 12 pm) – each week offers information and advice from experts helping older people in Salford to keep informed about topical issues.
If you would like to get involved or join a session, contact [email protected].