HEALTH AND CARE: Unite in the fight against cancer

World Cancer Day is this Saturday (February 4)
World Cancer Day is this Saturday (February 4)

Saturday, February 4, is World Cancer Day, a day where people all over the globe come together to awareness and unite in the fight against cancer.

Cancer affects millions of people around the world every day which is why this awareness day is so important.

The tagline ‘We Can I Can’ strengthens how everyone as a collective or as individuals can do their part to raise awareness of cancer.

More and more people are beating cancer or living with it as a long-term condition.

Being able to spot the signs and catching cancer in the early stages considerably increases peoples’ survival rate.

Cancer screening is so important and can save your life.

Types of screening available include:

• Cervical screening – offered to women aged 25 to 64 to check the health of cells in their cervix. This is a free test, done at your GP surgery and only takes five minutes. Most women’s test results show that everything is normal, but for around one in 20 women the test will show some abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix and may need treatment.

• Breast cancer screening – offered to women aged 50 to 70 to detect early signs of breast cancer. Breast cancer screening uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they are too small to see or feel. There’s a good chance of recovery if the cancer is detected in its early stages.

• Prostate cancer – the most common cancer in men in the UK. Prostate cancer usually develops slowly and there may be no signs you have it for many years. There is no single test for prostate cancer. The most commonly used tests for prostate cancer are blood tests, a physical examination of your prostate (known as a digital rectal examination or DRE) and a biopsy.

• Bowel cancer screening – the NHS offers two types of bowel cancer screening to adults. All men and women aged 60 to 74 are invited to carry out a faecal occult blood (FOB) test. Every two years, they’re sent a home test kit, which is used to collect a stool sample. An additional one-off test called bowel scope screening is gradually being introduced in England. This is offered to men and women at the age of 55. It involves a doctor or nurse using a thin, flexible instrument to look inside the lower part of the bowel.

To find out more about cancer screenings, information and support services visit our NHS Choices website.

For a person living with cancer, having support from friends, families, employers and colleagues can make a huge difference.

World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what we can all do – even the smallest act can have great impact.

Find out how you can get involved, visit the World Cancer Day website – www.worldcancerday.org/get-involved

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