Whether it’s for our own peace of mind, to help us feel more in control of our health, or for our loved ones, we know it’s important to stay on top of health checks, screenings and tests. But with so much on our plates, it’s also easy for important actions concerning our health to slip. Good health underpins everything about our lives, so this World Cancer Day, 4 February, let’s remind ourselves why that check-up is essential.
Dr Mark Adams, Lambeth GP and Cancer Lead for Lambeth Together Health and Care Partnership, said:
“1 in 2 of us will get cancer in our life – it’s that common. However, more people than ever are surviving following treatment – going on to enjoy life. But early detection and treatment of cancer is vital in helping people to live longer and healthier lives. Take charge of your life and get checked”.
The NHS is encouraging people from Black communities especially to come forward for cancer screening and diagnostic tests. This is because 1 in 4 Black men in England will get prostate cancer, with 1 in 12 dying from the disease. And because, Black women are twice as likely as white British women to get diagnosed with breast cancer when it is at a later stage and harder to treat. This needs to change.
Female and aged between 50 and 70? Attend your breast screening when invited
All women between the ages of 50 and 70 will receive a letter every three years inviting them for their NHS breast cancer screening. Alongside regularly self-examining your breasts, this routine screening helps to identify signs of breast cancer, so attending could save your life.
It’s a shocking fact that Black women are twice as likely to get a late diagnosis of breast cancer. Let’s turn this around, starting with going for your breast screening appointment when you get your invite from the NHS.
Women are often the glue holding families together – busy seeing to everyone’s else’s needs. Screening is a simple act of self-care, so do it for yourself and for your loved ones.
If you’re not sure if you’re up to date with your breast cancer screening appointments, if you think you might have missed your appointment, or if you’d like to rebook it for a more convenient time, please visit the London Breast Screening Hub or call the Hub on 020 3758 2024.
Black, male and over 45? Ask your GP about a PSA test
Black men have a 1 in 4 chance of getting prostate cancer, compared with a risk of 1 in 8 for white men.
There is a lot of work being done globally to understand and tackle these differences. If you’re Black, male and over 45, please contact your GP practice and ask about getting a PSA blood test.
This simple test measures the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in your blood. PSA is a protein produced by normal cells in the prostate and also by prostate cancer cells. A raised PSA level may suggest you have a problem with your prostate, but not necessarily cancer. Based on your results, your GP will advise you on next steps, including when you’ll need to book another PSA blood test.
Early diagnosis increases survival rates
Survival from cancer increases significantly with early diagnosis. Get checked, take charge of your health and your future.
Health and care organisations in Lambeth are working together to make sure that people receive early diagnosis and support for cancer and other health conditions.