Salford has been ranked 12th out of the 14 regions across England for bowel and cervical cancer screening and 13th for breast cancer screening.

Due to the high rate number across Greater Manchester, a call for awareness has been put in place to educate and inform local community groups.

‘Answer Cancer’ is a three year Cancer Screening Programme set up by Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership.

The aim of this programme is to work with local community groups to increase the number of breast, bowel and cervical cancer screenings.

Cervical cancer develops extremely slowly from abnormal cell changes in the cervix.

Though these changes do not normally come with any symptoms, they are very much likely to be found with cervical screening tests.

The focus of the programme is to get and reach out to as many people as possible to encourage them in getting a Cancer Screening to help prevent or start curing from early stages.

Jessica Pathak states that “people fear the idea of going for a Cancer screening without understanding the fact that this can actually prevent cancer. so it is very important, even if it is to be detected from an early stage, the treatments are more likely to work so you are doing yourself and your loved ones a huge favour”.

However, they are particularly keen and eager to reach people who have traditionally not taken up the cancer-screening offer, specifically carers, people with disabilities, the BME and LGBT communities and people living in areas of high deprivation.

The programme fully covers all three national screening programmes and the sessions are delivered over one to three hours depending on the requirement of the group.
Every participant that gets involved will be encouraged to sign up to become a certified Cancer Champion at the end of the programme sessions.

There are four organisations altogether that are getting involved in the delivery of the programme which are:

VSNW (Voluntary Sector North West)
BHA for Equality in Health & Social Care
Unique Improvements (a social enterprise)
and Salford CVS.

With that, there is also a grants programme that voluntary organisations can apply to, so they can work in their own communities to sign up cancer champions. the next round of funds for that will be released sometime early this year.

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