Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month 2020
Early Diagnosis Save Lives
During Covid-19 there was a significant drop in the amount of people coming forward with concerns around cancer for fear of catching coronavirus. As part of Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month (EMCAM) 2020 Can-Survive UK will be raising awareness about the importance of early diagnosis.
Marcella Turner, Can-Survive UK Founder and CEO explained “The unexpected onset of coronavirus stopped everyone in their tracks. This included community members who were previously worried about cancer; had noticed a change in their body, for example, discovered a lump, experiencing unexplained weight loss, going to the toilet more often – but were too scared to visit or speak to their GP as they did not want to catch coronavirus. There was also confusion as to whether they were allowed to contact their GP, due to the lockdown restrictions.
I sit on the Management Committee of Cancer Equality, originators of Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month (EMCAM) and during these times, early diagnosis is now even more important. EMCAM 2020 gives us the perfect opportunity to engage with and encourage community members to contact their GP about their concerns and get help. Using social media platforms, we will also be raising awareness about importance of attending cancer screening (bowel, breast and cervical) appointments. We remember to get our boiler checked, MOT the car; because if there is a problem, we want to catch it early and get it fixed before the problem gets worse. For me, going to cancer screening appointments is the same thing. If anything is wrong, I want it diagnosed and treated quickly. We really cannot afford to put the letters aside and ‘deal with it later’ or think ‘I’m feeling okay so there is no need for me to go this time.’ Our message will also include that it is okay to contact your GP to ask if you are due an appointment. It’s a two way process. We all have a responsibility to ourselves and to each other.”