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

Talking About Cancer: Reducing Risk, Early Detection and Mythbusting

Gain the tips, tools and confidence to have conversations about cancer that could save lives with experts at Cancer Research UK.

25,960 enrolled on this course

Talking About Cancer: Reducing Risk, Early Detection and Mythbusting
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study1 hour
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $59Find out more

Learn how to talk with others about the reducing cancer risk & cancer screening

1 in 2 people will develop cancer in their lifetime. Talking about how to detect or prevent cancer can be difficult, but it can play a very important role in early diagnosis and early detection.

On this course, you’ll draw on the knowledge of Cancer Research UK experts to learn to talk about cancer.

You might be worried you’ll say the wrong thing or that you simply don’t know enough about the subject. This course will help you to learn how best to talk to people about how to avoid cancer, like by making positive changes in their lifestyles and using local services.

You’ll learn how to encourage them to visit their doctor for cancer screening if they notice changes to their body.

The skills you gain on this course will also be useful for learning how to talk about cancer diagnoses.

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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 suitable for anyone with an interest in cancer prevention and aims to help with both personal and professional conversations about cancer and health.

If you want to be able to broach topics like the causes of cancer and to encourage cancer screening, you can benefit from this course.

The course is particularly relevant for those working or volunteering in the following areas: health advocacy, 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, or any other healthcare.

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

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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