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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.

26,724 enrolled on this course

Talking About Cancer: Reducing Risk, Early Detection and Mythbusting
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study1 hour
  • 100% onlineTry this course for free
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $64Find out more

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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  • Week 1

    Myths, facts and listening skills

    • Welcome to Talking About Cancer

      This week, we meet Alex, who explains the importance of talking about cancer. We then examine myths and facts, and meet lead educators Gill Kilgour and Gwen Kaplan. We also introduce Anita and Brian, whose stories we will follow.

    • Key facts and health messages

      Some people may be reluctant to talk about cancer because they don’t think they have enough information or they won’t know what to say. In the next step, we introduce some key facts and figures.

    • Myths and facts in everyday conversations with Anita and Brian

      Good listening skills are an essential part of effective cancer conversations. Listen carefully to Anita and Brian’s chats with friends and colleagues and think about the myths, facts and health messages in steps 1.3 and 1.5.

    • What have you learned this week

      Let’s check the main points we’ve covered this week and the key tips so far for an effective cancer conversation.

  • Week 2

    Break through barriers and encourage action

    • What are the barriers?

      This week, you'll learn about overcoming barriers that prevent people from changing their lifestyle and checking their health. In the first step, we explain what a barrier is and identify some examples.

    • Barriers to lifestyle changes

      We catch up with Brian at 45, listen to his conversations with family and friends, and identify the barriers people may face when making lifestyle changes. How can we help overcome these?

    • Barriers to seeing a doctor

      Anita feels unwell, but hasn't seen a doctor. What are the potential barriers she is experiencing? What can be done to encourage her to see a doctor?

    • What have you learned this week?

      Let’s check the main points we’ve covered this week and add some more key tips for an effective cancer conversation.

  • Week 3

    Prepare for conversations and develop an action plan

    • Managing our own feelings

      How do you feel when having difficult conversations? How might your feelings affect your conversations? How can you manage your own feelings so that you keep the focus on the person you are talking to and not on yourself?

    • Conversations with the doctor

      Brian’s struggling to shake off a recent illness. In this step, we'll see two different conversations he has with his doctor, and find ways we can help people prepare for a productive appointment.

    • Preparing for your conversations

      Being prepared for cancer conversations can give us confidence and make discussions more effective. Make a plan that will assist you in listening to people and helping them.

    • What have you learned?

      Let’s check the main points we’ve covered this week and summarise the key tips for an effective cancer conversation.

    • Thank you, and well done!

      And finally ...

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

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

Clinical services manager, pharmacy

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

Allied health assistant, occupational therapy

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.

Learner reviews

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