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Online course

Talking About Cancer

1 in 2 people will develop cancer in their lifetime. At Cancer Research UK we want to get people talking about cancer & health.


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Talking About Cancer

Gain tips, tools & confidence to have simple conversations that could save lives

This course will show you how to encourage people to make healthy lifestyle changes, use local services or visit their doctor promptly if they notice changes to their body. The skills you gain may also be useful in talking to people already affected by cancer. You’ll learn through quizzes, articles, discussion and videos demonstrating conversational dos and don’ts.

You can start now, or sign up for the next course starting 5 June when our lead educators will be active for the first 3 weeks. To join the next course sign up here.

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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 barriers to making lifestyle changes or seeing a doctor.
  • Communication methods that overcome barriers and avoid building defensiveness and fear.
  • Methods of questioning that help people make decisions for themselves.
  • Identifying how our own feelings can affect conversations.
  • Directing people to the right places for advice and support.
  • Creating an action plan for talking about cancer.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • To have the tips, tools and confidence to engage members of the public in meaningful conversations about cancer
  • To be aware of the key facts about cancer and be able to explain these to members of the public
  • Identify and deal effectively with barriers and challenges to meaningful conversations
  • Explain and direct people to the right places for support, and encourage practical action

Who is the course for?

This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in talking about cancer and can help with conversations about health with family, friends and colleagues. It focuses on facts and myths about cancer, and how to talk to people about prevention. It may be of special interest to anyone working or volunteering in health or in their community.

The course does not require any previous experience of this subject.

Who will you learn with?

Gillian Kilgour

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 Kaplan

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

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £59.00

Statement of Participation £39.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.