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Take three simple steps to reduce your cervical cancer risk during January’s Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

By Announcements, Awareness and Early Diagnosis

Women and people with a cervix are being encouraged to take three easy steps to significantly reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer, as part of Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance’s #PreventCervicalCancer campaign.

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and the Cancer Alliance is urging people to adopt a few simple measures to reduce their risk of cervical cancer – which kills around 853 people in the UK each year.

It is estimated that one in 142 females or people with a cervix will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in their lifetime. But with almost all (98.8%) cervical cancer cases being preventable, you can reduce your risk by following these steps.

  1. Attend your cervical screening appointment and get vaccinated against Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Cervical screening, also known as a smear test, is a test to prevent cancer. It looks for conditions that may lead to cervical cancer, which can be detected years before cancer develops.

Cervical screening and HPV vaccination are the best ways to protect yourself from cervical cancer.

The cervical screening appointment takes no more than 10 minutes and the test itself is over in a matter of minutes. All children aged 12 to 13 are offered the HPV vaccine, which helps to protect against all cancers caused by HPV.

Women and peopled with a cervix aged between 25 and 64 are invited for screening every three or five years (depending on your age) but one in three people invited to a cervical screening appointment do not take up the offer.

Cervical screening can sound daunting to some people but there really is no need to worry.

You can also visit the Let’s Talk Cervical Screening website from partners across Humber and North Yorkshire.

If you have reservations about taking up your cervical screening offer, watch this video from Meg Long, a 28-year-old mum of twins from Hull.

  1. Be clued up about cervical cancer

Early detection increases your chances of surviving cervical cancer so knowing what symptoms to look out for is important.

Symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Vaginal bleeding that’s unusual for you – including bleeding during or after sex, between your periods or after the menopause, or having heavier periods than usual
  • Changes to your vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain in your lower back, between your hip bones (pelvis), or in your lower stomach.

The Cancer Alliance’s Cancer Champions programme is running bite-sized cervical cancer education sessions during January to raise about cervical cancer and the steps you can take to reduce your risk.

These 30-minute sessions are fun, interactive and equip attendees with vital information about cervical cancer prevention. Click on the link above to book your place on one of these sessions or to find out more.

  1. Spread the word about cervical cancer to raise awareness

The Cancer Alliance will be spreading the word about cervical cancer across many channels throughout January using the hashtag #PreventCervicalCancer, including its website, Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) channels.

You can show your support for the campaign by sharing the Cancer Alliance’s posts on your social media channels.

Share the below video from York GP Dr Sam Plummer about what to expect at your cervical screening appointment, to encourage eligible people to book theirs.

Find out more about how you can support the Cancer Alliance’s #PreventCervicalCancer campaign by visiting our website: www.hnycanceralliance.org.uk/cervicalcancer.

Throughout January, Cancer Alliance colleagues and partners will be out in the community to spread awareness about cervical cancer symptoms and preventative measures.

We will be visiting supermarkets, leisure centres and other community spaces to have conversations with members of the public about cervical cancer, giving away leaflets, information cards and lots more in the process.

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “Cervical cancer is the most preventable cancer so it is recommended that you attend your cervical screening appointment if you are invited – it takes just 10 minutes to complete and could end up saving your life.

“It is important to raise awareness about the symptoms of cervical cancer so it is really pleasing that the Cancer Alliance is offering these 30-minute, bitesize awareness sessions; and will also be out in the community to spread the word about cervical cancer prevention at supermarkets, leisure centres and other community spaces.

“We need the public’s support to ensure all women and people with a cervix are equipped with the knowledge to reduce their risk of developing so please spread the word across social media and other channels using the hashtag #PreventCervicalCancer.”

Visit the Cancer Alliance’s Cervical Cancer Awareness Month webpage to find out more.

Cancer Alliance stakeholder newsletter – December 2023

By Announcements

Click here to read the latest edition of Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance’s stakeholder newsletter.

This edition includes updates on:

  • Simon Morritt’s appointment as Chair
  • Lung Health Checks rollout in East Riding of Yorkshire
  • The Cancer Alliance’s new patient and public engagement strategy
  • Our Lung Cancer Awareness Month collaboration with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and NHS England
  • Improving the experience of cancer patients with pre-existing mental health conditions
  • And much, much more!
Cervical screening

NHS campaign launched in light of the 120,000+ women and people with a cervix across region who are not up to date with their cervical screening

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis

The NHS, Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland, and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, together with local partners across North Lincolnshire have launched a public awareness campaign – Let’s Talk Cervical Screening – to educate women and people with a cervix in North Lincolnshire about HPV and cervical screening (also known as a ‘smear test’), as well as help alleviate any concerns when it comes to booking and attending an appointment.

“A high number of eligible women and people with a cervix across Yorkshire and the Humber have not had their latest cervical screening, and there is an urgent need to boost rates and help save lives,” said Jill Wass, Public Health Programme Manager, NHS England Yorkshire and The Humber.

“Through our campaign, we want to support individuals across the region who are missing their cervical screening, and we’re calling on all women and people with a cervix to consider getting screened.”

In Humber and North Yorkshire, latest NHS data shows that over 120,000 women and people with a cervix between the ages of 24-64 years, are not up to date with their cervical screening.  These figures are in line with the latest national figures from the Department of Health and Social Care which show nearly 30% of women and people with a cervix aged between 25 and 64 years are not up to date with their cervical screening.

Some of the most common barriers to cervical screening attendance include embarrassment and anxiety, with lack of understanding, concerns about pain, busy schedules, fear of results, and misconceptions about relevance additionally cited.

“There is a broad and complex range of reasons why women and people with a cervix do not attend their cervical screening,” said a spokesperson for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. “We want to break down some of those worries and nervous feelings by sharing first-hand experiences and honest insights from those who have been there before, and creating opportunities for open dialogue with a nurse professional.”

“We’re proud to be working alongside NHS England Yorkshire and The Humber and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust to roll-out this important campaign in the North East,” said Dr. Ashton Harper, Head of Medical Affairs, Roche Diagnostics UK and Ireland. “Cervical screening can help prevent cancer before it starts, so I encourage anyone with concerns or unanswered questions to pick up a leaflet, make use of the available online resources, and take the potentially life-saving step of booking or attending your appointment.”

Simon Morritt appointed as new Chair of the Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance

By Announcements

Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Morritt as its new Chair.

Simon takes up the role immediately and will manage his Cancer Alliance responsibilities alongside his day-to-day duties as Chief Executive of York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

He succeeds Stephen Eames CBE as Chair of the Cancer Alliance. Stephen has served as the Cancer Alliance’s Chair since the start of this year alongside his role as Chief Executive of the Humber and North Yorkshire Integrated Care Board.

As Chair, Simon will oversee the work of the Cancer Alliance and provide leadership on the key issues affecting cancer services in the Humber and North Yorkshire area. He will chair the Cancer Alliance’s monthly System Board meetings.

Chair of the Cancer Alliance, Simon Morritt

Simon has served as Chief Executive of York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust since 2019. Prior to that, Simon was Chief Executive of Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Commenting on his appointment, Simon said: “I am pleased to join the Cancer Alliance as Chair. I am really looking forward to working with a wide variety of people across the Cancer Alliance to improve outcomes for cancer patients and their families.

“There’s plenty of work to do to address the issues affecting cancer services in our area and I’m looking forward to working in partnership to find innovative ways to overcome these issues.”

Lucy Turner, Managing Director of the Cancer Alliance, added: “We are delighted to welcome Simon to the Cancer Alliance. As Chief Executive of one of the trusts responsible for providing cancer services in Humber and North Yorkshire, he will bring fresh impetus to the Cancer Alliance as it continues its mission to transform the diagnosis, treatment and care for cancer patients in our area.

“I also want to thank Stephen for his contributions to the Cancer Alliance over the past 12 months.”

For more information about the work of the Cancer Alliance please click here.

NHS bus-ting bus

NHS Bus-ting Cancer Tour is making a stop in Grimsby

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, National Campaigns

This November, the NHS in England takes the ‘Bus-ting Cancer Tour’ to brand new locations with NHS staff in a specially designed bus travelling across the country to encourage people who are worried about a cancer symptom to contact their GP practice.

Part of the NHS Help Us, Help You campaign, the bus is visiting towns and cities with some of the lowest early diagnosis rates, including Grimsby, Coventry, Nottingham, Basildon and Portsmouth, from Monday 27 November to Friday 1 December.

The tour aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and to encourage people to contact their GP practice if they notice something in their body that doesn’t feel right, because finding cancer early makes it more treatable and can save lives.

The NHS Bus-ting cancer bus will be at the ASDA supermarket on Holles street, Grimsby, on November 27th from 10am – 4pm. 

Health professionals are on hand at each stop to share further information and help people without a GP practice to sign up to their local service.

The NHS Bus-ting bus will be in Grimsby on November 27th

It’s important that if you are worried about a symptom that could be cancer, to contact your GP practice. To rule out cancer, your GP may refer you for tests. Whatever the result, your NHS is here for you.

While the majority (79%) of respondents in Yorkshire agree that early detection of cancer can significantly increase chances of successful treatment, 44% said they wouldn’t make an appointment with their GP if they noticed a change in their body that they thought could be cancer.

For more information on cancer signs and symptoms go to nhs.uk/cancersymptoms.

2022 U16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey results published

By Announcements, Personalised Care, Treatment and Pathways

The 2022 under-16 Cancer Patient Experience Survey (U16 CPES) results have been published. Click here to view the results.

The annual national survey, now in its third year, measures children’s cancer and tumour care provided by the NHS in England.

The survey was developed to better understand children and young people’s experience of cancer, which is one of the commitments of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The 2022 survey was completed by 885 patients and parents or carers across England – a response rate of 25%. A response consists of one survey completion for a single patient, which could consist of both parent and child responses.

Children from Humber and North Yorkshire usually receive cancer care at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Some of the national findings from the report include:

  • 75% of children aged 8-15 reported that they were looked after very well for their cancer or tumour by healthcare staff, compared to 77% in 2021.
  • 89% of parents/carers rated the overall experience of their child’s care as 8 or more (out of 10), compared to 89% in 2021.
  • Parents/carers gave a mean rating of 8.99 for the overall experience of their child’s care, compared to 9.01 in 2021.
  • Parents/carers of children who were in remission or long term follow up reported a higher score (9.17) than parents/carers of children who were recently diagnosed (8.33), in watch and wait (8.69) and currently receiving treatment (8.89).
  • Overall experience scores varied from 8.86 for parents/carers of children living in the least deprived areas in England compared to 9.08 for the parents/carers of children living in the second and third indices of multiple deprivation (IMD) quintiles, 9.03 for parents/carers of children living in the most deprived areas of England, and 9.40 for parents/carers of children living outside of England.

The survey’s respondents are children who were aged between eight and 15 at the point of discharge, and parents or carers of children aged up to 15.

The publication of the under-16 results comes four months after the adult CPES results were published in July.

Lung health check unit

An NHS service offering potentially life-saving lung health checks has launched in East Riding of Yorkshire

By Announcements, Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

Around 350 past and current smokers in the Withernsea area have become the first people in the East Riding of Yorkshire to take up the offer of a free NHS Lung Health Check.

lung health check unit

Mobile lung health check unit

A lung health check can help to identify lung cancer and other respiratory diseases early, often before symptoms have occurred and when treatment could be simpler and more successful.

Current and former smokers, aged between 55 and 74, who are registered with Holderness Health or Eastgate Medical Group and live in Withernsea, Grimston, Welwick, Albrough, Fitling, Skeffling, Hilston, Easington, Ottringham, Roos, Winestead, Kilnsea, Flinton, Patrington, Patrington Haven, Weeton, Owstwick, Sunk Island, Tunstall, or Holmpton, are being invited to book a telephone assessment with a respiratory nurse.

Following the assessment, some participants will be invited for a low dose CT scan onboard a high-tech mobile unit, which arrived at Withernsea Leisure Centre on Wednesday, 8th November 2023.

It is expected that 40,000 eligible participants living in the East Riding of Yorkshire will be invited for a lung health check as the mobile unit moves around the region in phases.

Dr Tami Byass, a GP at Eastgate Medical Group in Hornsea, said: “I welcome the news of lung health checks starting to invite eligible patients in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

“Lung cancer can often be difficult to detect in its earliest stages, as there are less noticeable symptoms until stages three or four, so I would urge anyone invited to take up the opportunity of a free lung health check – even if you feel fine.

“If you are worried about symptoms of cancer, such as a cough for three weeks or more, please contact your GP as opposed to waiting for a lung health check invitation.”

Dr Kanwal Tariq, Consultant in Chest Medicine at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Anyone invited for a CT scan as part of their lung health check can be assured that it is a quick and painless procedure, which can help us spot any potential issues early.

Withernsea Leisure Centre

Participants will be invited for a low dose CT scan onboard a mobile unit, at Withernsea Leisure Centre

“Early detection of lung cancer and other respiratory diseases can make a world of difference in the effectiveness of treatment. The lung health checks could be a lifeline for some people.”

Dr Stuart Baugh, Programme Director for NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks in Humber and North Yorkshire, said: “This service is a vital step towards better outcomes for people at highest risk of respiratory diseases. Not only does it help to provide most people with reassurance that their lungs are currently healthy, but it also supports people to stop smoking, if they wish to do so.

“Quitting smoking is the best way to prevent lung cancer and referrals to stop smoking services by the lung health check service has already provided many people with the support needed to quit.

“The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme was first launched in Hull in January 2020, and then in North East Lincolnshire in January 2023. Around 17,500 telephone assessments have been carried out so far, and we look forward to seeing even more people benefit from the service as eligible participants in the East Riding of Yorkshire take up their invitations. It is expected that the service will be available in all parts of Humber and North Yorkshire by 2028/29.”

Find out more about lung health checks in East Yorkshire at www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk.

Woman stood in between giant inflatable lungs

Why you might spot a giant pair of inflatable lungs at St Stephen’s shopping centre in Hull today

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

To mark the start of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance has joined forces with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and NHS England to bring a Let’s Talk Lung Cancer roadshow to Hull.

Woman stood in between giant inflatable lungs

Giant inflatable lungs that will be in St Stephen’s

On Wednesday, 1st November 2023, a giant pair of inflatable lungs will arrive at St Stephen’s shopping centre to raise awareness of lung cancer symptoms and start much-need conversations around the disease.

The event comes after a recent survey of over 2,000 adults in England found that just two in five respondents (41%) would visit their GP if they had a cough for three weeks or more, which could be a sign of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Humber and North Yorkshire and the roadshow aims to improve local understanding and awareness of the disease. People visiting the roadshow will be able to learn about the potential symptoms and risk factors beyond smoking, as well as how to improve their general lung health and reduce their risk of the disease.

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “It is great to welcome the Let’s Talk Cancer roadshow to Hull as it starts a tour across the country.

“People diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late, so it is important to ensure people know what signs to look out for and to encourage anyone experiencing symptoms of lung cancer to contact their GP without delay.

“The main symptoms of lung cancer include a cough that doesn’t go away after three weeks, chest infections that keep coming back, coughing up blood, an ache or pain when breathing or coughing, persistent breathlessness, persistent tiredness or lack of energy and/or loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.

“This new roadshow comes alongside the continued roll out of NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks across Humber and North Yorkshire. The service, which is currently operating in Hull and parts of North East Lincolnshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire, will be available in all areas of Humber and North Yorkshire in the coming years.

“A lung health check can help to identify lung cancer and other respiratory diseases early, often before symptoms have occurred and when treatment could be simpler and more successful. I would urge anyone invited to take up the opportunity of a free lung health check – even if you feel fine.”

Chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Paula Chadwick, said: “It is staggering that half of those surveyed still do not know how prevalent lung cancer is. We believe this stems from a reluctance to talk about lung cancer, and that is largely because of its links to smoking and associated stigma.

Giant inflatable lungs and a table

Anyone wanting to know more about lung cancer is urged to speak to the team

“That’s why these events are so important. They give us the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations which people who may not realise they are at risk, who may not recognise potential symptoms or may feel unable to act on them, or too fearful to.

“If we can help one person in Hull get diagnosed earlier when lung cancer can often be treated with curative intent, then that is worth doing.”

The Let’s Talk Lung Cancer roadshow will be at St Stephen’s shopping centre in Hull on Wednesday, 1st November 2023 between 10am and 4pm. Anyone wanting to know more about lung cancer is urged to go down and speak to the team.

Cancer alliance annual conference

Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance hosts annual conference

By Announcements

On Thursday, 21st September 2023, Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance was pleased to host its annual conference at MKM Stadium in Hull.

The conference celebrated the work that is taking place across the Humber and North Yorkshire area to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and care for cancer patients.

One hundred and forty-four people attended the event, with representation from primary and secondary care, NHS England, patient representatives, cancer charities, and third-party organisations.

The event consisted of presentations which showcased achievements such as: the continued delivery of NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks, the implementation of faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) in primary care, the introduction of non-symptom specific pathways, and the impact of free Cancer Champions awareness sessions.

Among the speakers was David Fitzgerald, Programme Director for NHS England’s Cancer Programme, who provided an overview of the NHS Long Term Plan for cancer and highlighted the progress made so far. 

(left to right) Zoe Bounds, Dr Dan Cottingham, Allyson Kent, Dr Lucy Gossage

Delegates also heard from Lucy Gossage, who is an oncologist and co-founder of 5k Your Way. 5k Your Way encourages people affected by cancer to take part in a local parkrun. The benefits of being active was a key theme that ran throughout the annual conference, and Lucy noted it is one of the few things people with a cancer diagnosis can do to make them feel better, reduce their fatigue and hopefully help them live longer.

Lucy Turner, Managing Director for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “The conference provided the perfect platform for us to not only celebrate the work that has taken place, but also to challenge and inspire us to achieve more.

“Our focus throughout the day was on improving outcomes for patients and it was great to welcome two of the Cancer Alliance’s patient representatives as speakers at the event. Simon Maddocks and Allyson Kent kindly shared their own experiences of cancer, whilst highlighting the importance of involving people affected by cancer when working to improve services. 

“For me, the take home message was to ‘remember your why’. As a Cancer Alliance, our why is to improve outcomes for patients with cancer and we will continue to work with our partners, and people affected by cancer, to transform diagnosis, treatment and care locally.” 

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