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Awareness and Early Diagnosis

Awareness of cancer and its symptoms is one of the keys to early diagnosis. Early diagnosis can save lives. Read here about some of the awareness and early diagnosis work taking place in Humber, Coast and Vale.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Lung health check mobile unit and staff posing in front of it

Blog: Chair of Humber and North Yorkshire ICB, Sue Symington visits Lung Health Check mobile unit

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Blog, Lung Health Checks

Earlier this month, I embarked on a unique journey to Tesco on Market Street in Grimsby. My destination was not the grocery store’s shelves, but rather a cutting-edge medical facility – the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check mobile unit.

This mobile marvel plays a pivotal role in the early detection of lung cancer and other respiratory conditions. In this blog post, I’ll take you behind the scenes of my visit and explore the valuable service it provides to this North East Lincolnshire community.

The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check mobile unit is part of a new initiative that first took flight in Hull back in 2020. The programme aims to spread awareness and facilitate early diagnosis of lung-related ailments by touring various regions in Humber and North Yorkshire. Recently, it arrived in Grimsby, extending its services to eligible residents living in this coastal town.

The initiative primarily targets current and former smokers aged between 55 to 74 who are registered with a Grimsby GP practice. These individuals are now receiving personalised invitations in the mail, inviting them to participate.

For those who are invited, their journey begins with a simple yet essential step – an appointment for a telephone assessment with a respiratory nurse. This preliminary assessment helps determine the participant’s risk factors and eligibility for further testing.

The next step for some participants involves an invitation to visit the mobile unit which is equipped with a state-of-the-art low-dose CT scanner. This cutting-edge technology allows for the detection of lung conditions in their early stages, greatly improving treatment outcomes.

Lung Health Check mobile unit in Grimsby

(left to right) Becky Wood, Stuart Watson, Dr Stuart Baugh, Sue Symington, Chukuemeka Egbunony

During my visit, I was warmly welcomed by Dr Stuart Baugh, the Programme Director for NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks in Humber and North Yorkshire, along with Stuart Watson, Non-Executive Director for Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership. Together with Chukuemeka Egbunony, a Radiographer, and Becky Wood, a Lung Health Check Nurse, they provided me with an informative and engaging tour of the mobile unit.

My tour was an eye-opening experience; I had the chance to witness the state-of-the-art technology and meet the dedicated healthcare professionals behind this essential service. The tour wasn’t just about showcasing the machinery, it was also an opportunity to ask questions and gain a deeper understanding of how the programme contributes to the health and well-being of Grimsby residents.

The visit shed light on an invaluable service that’s making a significant difference in the early detection of lung conditions. With its innovative approach and dedicated team of healthcare professionals, this initiative is providing residents of Grimsby and surrounding areas with the tools they need to safeguard their lung health.

As the mobile unit continues its journey through Humber and North Yorkshire, it’s clear that it’s not just a van with medical equipment – it’s a symbol of progress and hope for healthier lives.

So, if you’re eligible and receive an invitation in the mail, consider taking that first step toward better lung health. You might just find yourself on a remarkable journey, much like my own, into the heart of healthcare innovation.

Find out more about lung health checks in Humber and North Yorkshire.

NHS Urges People In Humber and North Yorkshire To Come Forward for Life Saving Cancer Checks

By Announcements, Awareness and Early Diagnosis

People in Humber and North Yorkshire who have had a cough for three weeks or more are being encouraged to contact their GP practice and come forward for lifesaving checks as part of an NHS campaign.

The ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign from NHS England uses TV, radio and online adverts, and social media to increase knowledge of the key symptom of lung cancer.

The ads feature people with a persistent cough and aim to encourage people experiencing this to contact their GP practice.

One of the campaign ads that is raising awareness of early signs of lung cancer

NHS data shows that more than 4,258 people in Humber and North Yorkshire are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “A cough is a common symptom for many things, but when you have a cough that doesn’t go away after three weeks or more, it could be a sign of cancer.

“This campaign aims to remind people with a long standing cough and their loved ones not to be complacent, and encourages them t o get checked out. It’s likely nothing to be too worried about, but if it does turn out to be cancer the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.

“Whenever anyone notices anything unusual for their bodies that they are worried could be cancer, it’s vital that they take action by contacting their GP practice.”

In addition to the symptom of a cough for three weeks or more, other symptoms of lung cancer include:
• Chest infections that keep coming back
• Coughing up blood
• A long standing cough that gets worse
• An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
• Persistent breathlessness
• Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
• Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

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

NHS partners with Morrisons in Humber and North Yorkshire to put vital cancer awareness messaging on underwear labels

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis

From today, Morrisons shoppers in Humber and North Yorkshire will find NHS advice on underwear labels urging them to contact their GP practice if they spot potential symptoms of breast or testicular cancer.

The Nutmeg branded underwear featuring NHS advice will be in 240 Morrisons stores nationwide, including in Bridlington, Hull, York, Scarborough, Cleethorpes and Scunthorpe. The labels will first appear in boxer shorts, followed by crop top bras in the coming months.

The NHS guidance will be displayed on the fabric labels alongside the standard sizing and care information. There will also be a QR code on the packaging and tags linking customers through to more detailed information on breast and testicular cancer on the NHS website.

Morrisons is the first UK supermarket to roll out the new labels and this first of its kind partnership for the NHS is the latest move in a significant drive to ensure people are aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

If people notice symptoms that could be cancer, they should contact their GP practice and come forward for checks as early as possible so they can get the all clear or, in some cases, a cancer diagnosis sooner to give them the best chance of surviving the disease.

Symptoms of breast cancer can include a lump or change in the look, shape or feel of one or both breasts, while symptoms of testicular cancer can include painless swelling or a lump in one of the testicles or any change in shape or texture of the testicles.

Customers can scan the QR code on the tags to be linked directly to more detailed information on breast and testicular cancer.

National figures show that 91% of women survive for at least five years if diagnosed at the earliest stage of breast cancer, where the tumour is small (stage one), whereas this reduces to 39% where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (stage four). While nearly all men survive testicular cancer, if the cancer has spread, survival for five years or more can reduce to 65%.

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “This is the first time the whole of the NHS has worked with a national supermarket brand to put health messaging on clothing, with the aim of encouraging thousands more people to be body aware, so they can spot new or unexplained changes that might be cancer symptoms early, and contact their GP practice for checks if concerned.

“Cancer survival is at an all time high survival for both breast and testicular cancers have improved significantly over the last 50 years and we’re seeing more people than ever before diagnosed with cancer at an early stage but we want to continue this progress and this partnership with Morrisons is just one of many ways we are ensuring people are aware of potential cancer symptoms.

“I want to urge everyone to be aware of their own bodies please look out for lumps and bumps or anything else that is unusual for you and get checked out early, it could save your life.”

More people than ever before are being seen and treated by the NHS for cancer in the last year the number of people receiving lifesaving checks for cancer hit nearly three million (2.92m) more than any other year on record. Thanks to extensive NHS campaigns and early diagnosis initiatives, a higher proportion of cancers than ever before were diagnosed at an early stage in the year 2022/2023 – 58% of cancers diagnosed at stage one or two compared to 56% before the pandemic.

The NHS is harnessing the very latest technology and initiatives such as community lung health checks and trials of a blood test that can detect up to 50 cancers before symptoms appear, to diagnose cancer earlier and achieve its goal of diagnosing three quarters of all cancers at stage one or two by 2028.

The NHS is also accelerating the use of innovations like teledermatology for diagnosing skin cancer, which is already seeing some areas double the number of patients seen and speeding up diagnosis and treatment for tens of thousands with skin cancer.

To find your nearest Nutmeg concession please visit, my.morrisons.com/storefinder.

For more information about how NHS England works with partners on national campaigns visit england.nhs.uk/campaign partnerships.

NHS Lung Health Check service now available to eligible people in Grimsby

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis, Lung Health Checks

An NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Service, which is helping to save lives through earlier diagnosis of lung cancer and other conditions, is now being offered to eligible participants living in Grimsby.

Over the next few months, people living in Grimsby who are former or current smokers, aged from 55 to 74, and registered with a Grimsby GP practice will receive a letter inviting them to make an appointment for a Lung Health Check telephone assessment with a specially trained nurse.

The telephone assessment covers aspects such as lifestyle, family history and any breathing issues. Following this, some participants may be offered a low dose CT scan which is set to be located at Tesco on Market Street, in Grimsby.

Lung Health Checks are being delivered in phases across North East Lincolnshire and over 600 people living in Immingham have already benefited from the service since it first launched in the area in March 2023.

To find out more about the Lung Health Checks in North East Lincolnshire visit www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk.

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