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Who can help you?

Cancer awareness trainers from Cancer Research UK explain how to prepare for conversations about the disease.
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GILL KILGOUR: Being prepared for our conversations can help to make us more confident and the conversations more successful and effective. We can use leaflets about lifestyle and cancer awareness, as well as other resources to prompt questions and support our cancer conversations and make them more engaging. Here are some examples of leaflets you might find useful.
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GWEN KAPLAN: During our training workshops, we pass around resources like these. Having a proper visual aid can help to promote discussion. You don’t always need to have objects like these. Pictures can be a great help, too.
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GILL KILGOUR: As well as knowing the main reliable sources of information, like Cancer Research UK, we also need to know about what local services are available to help support someone once you’ve had a conversation with them. This means that if someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, you can still signpost them to reliable sources of information that might be helpful.
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GWEN KAPLAN: It’s a good idea to make a list of what’s happening in your local area so that you can point people in the right direction for support when they need it. Here are some ideas to get you started.
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GILL KILGOUR: Where is your local A&E or walk in centre?
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GWEN KAPLAN: Where are the stop smoking or drug and alcohol services? How do you access them?
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GILL KILGOUR: Is there more than one GP, pharmacy, or dentist in your area, and what do they each have to offer?
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GWEN KAPLAN: Where can someone go if they need support with managing their weight?
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GILL KILGOUR: Is there a local cancer support service?
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GWEN KAPLAN: There are many services, and some might not be as obvious or well known. But remember, everyone’s needs are different and so the support and information they need will also be different. Here are some of the less well-known services that can have a big impact on someone’s well-being and social life.
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GILL KILGOUR: For someone that might want to manage their weight, there are options like health trainers or healthy cookery classes.
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GWEN KAPLAN: For those that want to be a bit more active, maybe suggest joining a walking group or playing walking football.
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GILL KILGOUR: If someone likes gardening, there might be a community gardening club or a Men’s Shed group.
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GWEN KAPLAN: For many people, online support is the most accessible and is somewhere that they can remain anonymous. It is important to remember to make sure that these sources are reliable and up to date. Here are some examples of online resources that can be helpful.
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GILL KILGOUR: Change4Life is great for those wanting to change lifestyle habits.
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GWEN KAPLAN: NHS Choices has lots of information and links to reliable websites. They can also give links to what might be happening in your local area. If not, local authority websites are normally kept up to date and can provide information.
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GILL KILGOUR: Cancer charities, like Cancer Research UK, Macmillan, and Marie Curie, are also great sources of cancer support and information, including helplines for both patients and other people.
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GWEN KAPLAN: Knowing what’s happening in your area and being familiar with the online resources can help you engage with and direct people to the most appropriate service when they need support. It also helps you have more meaningful and successful conversations.

Being prepared for cancer conversations can give us confidence and make discussions more effective.

Watch Gill and Gwen talk through some of the things that may be useful when preparing for conversations, and to include in your action plan. You can download the video and transcript if you’d like to refer back to this also.

We know that many of you may be supporting someone living with cancer and may be unsure of what to say or how you can help. Our Cancer Research UK ‘how to support someone with cancer’ web pages can provide guidance on what you could say or do to best support them.

Activity and Discussion

It’s important to become familiar with some of the resources and services you can refer people to for further information and support.

Don’t forget you can ‘like’ the ideas and suggestions that others contribute and comment on them too.

What’s next?

Next we’ll revisit Anita and hear about her experience in her own words.

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Talking About Cancer: Reducing Risk, Early Detection and Myth-busting

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