Cancer Prevention, Screening and Treatment: Local Views

The South East London Cancer Network model for user partnership was established in 2005. A revised South East London Cancer Network (SELCN) user partnership strategy (2008-2012) has been developed building on the work of the previous strategy. The overall aim of this strategy is to embed user partnership working and user involvement in policy development, service planning and service delivery of high quality, user centered cancer services in SELCN. In addition to this overarching framework there is current active user involvement in many but not all of the tumour working groups, supportive care groups and generic working groups. Users are also involved in one-off projects, focus groups and in peer review. NHS Lewisham has been recently recognized by the DH and NHS London for the work carried out through the Pacesetters programme, working with local women from Black and minority ethnic communities to promote attendance for breast screening. The Healthy Communities Collaborative Cancer Project works with a team of lay volunteers to organise and facilitate cancer awareness workshops, presentations, festival or group meetings, which attract a diverse population in terms of age and ethnicity. Interim results from a Cancer Awareness Survey carried out in a neighbouring borough in South East London with a similar population profile to Lewisham found that there was:

  • Low knowledge of “persistent cough and hoarseness” and “sore that does not heal” as warning signs of cancer
  • Knowledge of warning signs for cancer lower among non-white and economically inactive people
  • Low knowledge of HPV, low intake of fruit and vegetables and low physical activity as risk factors for cancer
  • Underestimation of personal risk of cancer
  • Low knowledge of frequency of bowel cancer
  • Low knowledge of frequency of lung cancer in women
  • Low knowledge of existence of bowel screening programme
  • Lower knowledge of existence of NHS screening programmes in people who are non-white, economically inactive and living in poorer areas. Also particularly low for the Black African subgroup.







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