When we have spoken to staff we have been thrilled to find that people are enthusiastic about supporting clients and patients.
But some of you lacked confidence about how to raise the subject of cancer, and were concerned that you weren’t providing the correct information. This toolkit will provide you with much of the information needed, but this is where training can also help.

Experts believe that almost half of cancer cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes. Many thousands more lives could be saved if cancer was diagnosed earlier. Being aware of the importance of earlier presentation, screening information and key symptoms isn’t just something clinical staff should do. It should be an everyday part of all of our jobs, and we can all play a role in promoting cancer awareness. Simple things like talking about cancer with colleagues, families and friends can help people to make choices that could reduce their risk of cancer and increase the chances of detecting it early. A short conversation about these things, or encouraging them to book an appointment with their GP if they have any concerns, can make all the difference.
We would always advise people to do what they feel to be right and appropriate for each situation. But we fully acknowledge that talking about cancer can be difficult, both in terms of raising the subject in the first place and also additional issues such as talking to people with learning disabilities.

The good news is that there is a variety of staff and volunteer training options in the UK. Take a look in the Resources section and search under ‘training’ for further information about just some of the options available. The short video below gives an example of one of the types of training available.
Training can give you additional confidence to overcome barriers to talking to people about cancer. It can also be used alongside this toolkit to raise awareness of symptoms of the most common cancers, the importance of early diagnosis, NHS cancer screening services and appropriate supporting services.