• A capital C written on the left and Cancer Research UK written on the right

Talking About Cancer: Reducing Risk, Early Detection and Mythbusting

Learn from experts at Cancer Research UK about how you could save lives by talking about cancer prevention and early detection.

27,625 enrolled on this course

Talking About Cancer: Reducing Risk, Early Detection and Mythbusting

Learn how to talk about cancer risk reduction and spotting cancer early.

1 in 2 people will develop cancer in their lifetime. Talking about how to reduce the risk of cancer and the importance of early detection isn’t always easy, but it can make a real difference to peoples’ health.

You might be worried you’ll say the wrong thing or that you simply don’t know enough about the subject. Our Cancer Research UK experts are here to help.

On this course you’ll learn…

How to talk to people about how to reduce the risk of cancer

Support people to understand what causes cancer and what healthy changes they could make to reduce their risk

The importance of early detection of cancer

You’ll learn how to encourage people to know what’s normal for their body and visit their doctor if they notice any unusual changes.

The skills you gain on this course could also be helpful when talking to somebody affected by cancer.

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What topics will you cover?

  • Key facts and health messages about cancer prevention, screening and early diagnosis, and how to explain them.
  • Confidence for having conversations about cancer that help others take positive action.
  • Identification of people’s possible barriers to making positive changes for their health or seeing a doctor.
  • Communication methods that can help people overcome these barriers and avoid defensiveness and fear.
  • Identifying how our own feelings can affect how we approach conversations.
  • Signposting people to the right places for advice and support.
  • Creating an action plan for talking about cancer.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Summarise simple, reliable facts about cancer, prevention, early diagnosis and screening.
  • Engage those around you in effective conversations about cancer.
  • Identify appropriate sources of support and information, and signpost people to them.
  • Assess the barriers that can prevent people from taking positive action for their health or visiting the doctor, and engage them in a way that encourages them to take action.
  • Develop a plan of action for talking about cancer.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who would like to improve their ability – personally or professionally – to have conversations about cancer and health.

It will be particularly useful for those with an interest in sharing the causes of cancer, the importance of early diagnosis and advocating for cancer prevention and cancer screening.

The course will be helpful professionally for those working or volunteering in the following healthcare areas: health advocacy, health promotion, care and support work, community health centres and services, GP surgeries, mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, oncology, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dentistry, public health, radiotherapy, sexual health, social work.

What do people say about this course?

"It was relayed well with thought-provoking videos and gave sound advice on overcoming barriers to communication…very useful course giving me a chance to reflect on my role within the workplace"

"The course has surpassed my expectations not only for the valuable information related to cancer and awareness, also to the transferable ideas and tools provided…I feel much more confident in talking about cancer with others"

Who will you learn with?

Gill has been a nurse for 30 years, with a variety of experience in the cancer field. Gill joined Cancer Research UK in 2009, and is now one of the Lead Cancer Awareness Trainers at the charity.

Gwen trained as a nurse, working in a variety of settings with cancer patients before joining Cancer Research UK in 1998 on the Nurse Helpline. Gwen works as a Lead Cancer Awareness Trainer.

Who developed the course?

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) are the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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