The charity Cancer Awareness for Teens and Twenties (Catts) is delivering free online cancer awareness workshops to all University of Salford students.
These free weekly and interactive workshops,in partnership with NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, teach students to check for signs of skin cancer on their boobs, balls, and chest for lumps and cancerous moles.
It will also teach them how to protect themselves from a cancer-causing sexually transmitted infection, HPV, and lower their risk of skin cancer.
These workshops are hosted on Zoom every Wednesday afternoon and are presented by Bethany Applebee, 28, the community engagement lead at CATTs who runs this project.
Bethany Applebee says: “Many people have been affected by cancer and to be able to work with young people and give them the skills to take control of their own health is just fantastic for me.
“These workshops are a safe and open space that not only empower young people on how to look after their own health but give people a chance to ask the questions they have always wanted to.
“We know that a lot of young people find it difficult to speak to a doctor about their health, and we want to give participants the tools to speak with confidence.”
The Manchester-based charity CATTs is lead by young people, for young people and aim to make sure that every young person in the UK knows the common signs and symptoms of cancer, and know when to go and see their doctor.
Bethany says: “The reason I joined CATTs was because I was genuinely passionate to get young people to talk about health as it is such an important thing and the main reason I joined!”
14 young people (aged 15-29) are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK, with a lot of these young people receiving a late diagnosis.
Bethany explains why: “There are many reasons why a late diagnosis could happen, one of them being that people do not recognise signs and symptoms as possible symptoms of cancer.
“On top of this, cancer referrals have now dropped by 75% due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning thousands of young people with cancer are not being diagnosed quick enough.”
She further explains why she is so passionate about raising awareness for cancer to young people as she says: “I have unfortunately lost loved ones from cancer even during this pandemic and I think half of my family have had cancer at some point.
“It’s something that is obviously tough for people to deal with so when it comes to young people and cancer, although it’s pretty uncommon, it does affect them quite badly because a lot of young people have to go to doctors quite a few times to get a diagnosis as it’s not necessarily the first thing a doctor would think about.
“In these workshops we also try to debunk myths as we did a survey and found that many people didn’t realise that people of colour can have skin cancer!
“So we really try to tackle health inequalities and educate people as much as we can, which is why talking about this topic is so important.”
She adds: “We encourage conversation and it’s also a great way to meet other people as well,” as it is important to keep virtual interactions going, especially during current circumstances.
The workshops will pursue throughout November & December and tickets can be booked on the CATTs Eventbrite page or through these links:
- November 18th (Check yourself Out) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/125515848281
- November 25th (Sun, Sex & suspicious moles) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/125516299631
- December 2nd (Check yourself out) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/128475639095
- December 9th (Sun, Sex & suspicious moles) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/128476499669