Champions can be front line in battle against cancer

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The NHS in Northamptonshire has hailed a cancer workshop last week as a success.

The DETECT (Diagnose Early to get Effective Cancer Treatment) session, on Wednesday, January 16 at the Kettering Conference Centre, briefed local champions on the role they can play within the community. Around 30 such champions from across Northamptonshire attended the session.

DETECT champions are given training and support on the signs and symptoms of cancer, and provided with the skills needed to engage with the community.

Once trained, a champion goes out into their local area as and when they can and organises events, such as coffee mornings or presentations, or just simply to talk with their friends and family, to increase public knowledge of cancer symptoms and the screening programmes that are available and signposting for further support.

David Payne, consultant urological surgeon at Kettering General Hospital, said the champions played an important role in the battle against cancer.

“What many people don’t realise is that if caught early, most cancers can be easily treated,” he said. “The DETECT Champions are people who spread the message about early diagnosis of cancer to the local community and friends and family. They provide information on screenings and symptoms that will allow communities to work together to help fight cancer together.”

Jit Parekh, Social Marketing Manager at NHS Northamptonshire, said: “The DETECT Champions network is a great way of getting the early detection message out to the public across Northamptonshire. At the workshop we heard some great stories from our current DETECT Champions, who are doing a fantastic job in talking to their friends, family and local community about early detection, so we want to encourage more people to sign up and make a difference.”

If you would like to become a DETECT Champion, email communications@northants.nhs.uk or call 01604 651734. Alternatively, visit www.talksooner.co.uk or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/northamptonshiredetectchampions.