South Yorkshire urged to talk about cancer at key event
Cancer patients and their family members, friends and carers are being invited to a free event hosted by Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Let’s Talk about Cancer 2019 will include talks by leading experts on how to live well with, and after, cancer. It will also offer the chance to talk to people going through a similar experience and chat to providers of helpful services, including other charities, wellbeing services, , fitness providers and NHS services.
“We need to get past the awkwardness and embarrassment. We need to find ways to be honest about our hopes and fears, the indignities of treatment and also the humour that can go with cancer. You might think that a room full of people with cancer would be a pretty bleak place. You’d be wrong,” says Andrew Graystone, a writer, researcher and prostate cancer survivor who will be introducing the event.
An estimated 177,000 people in Yorkshire are living with or have had cancer and the event, on Thursday March 14, at Magna Science Centre in Rotherham, is dedicated to helping people in the region live long and healthy lives after cancer.
“Let’s Talk about Cancer has been created by, and for, people affected by cancer – we want people to feel comfortable talking about their experience, from diagnosis to recovery,” says Dr Kathryn Scott, chief executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research.
As survival rates continue to improve, more people will need access to the best treatment and long-term care, so the event will also include practical sessions on activities such as Pilates and techniques like mindfulness as well as advice on where to go for further support.
“We want patients, survivors, loved ones and carers to have the chance to talk about their mental health and lifestyle choices, as these can affect their lives long after the treatment is over. By sharing knowledge and experiences, we can ensure people in Yorkshire have the very best chance of leading an active, healthy life after cancer,” continues Dr Scott.
Let’s Talk about Cancer is the second event of its type organised by Yorkshire Cancer Research after more than 300 people registered to attend a similar event at Harrogate Convention Centre in November 2017, along with some 30 charities and health and lifestyle organisations.
“Every single person at the last event said they went away with something positive: either a new friend, some fresh and helpful information or just the fantastic feeling that you are not alone on the journey,” adds Mr Graystone.
Among those who will be taking part is cancer patient Barbara Hibbert, who also attended the first event. She says it was “valuable in giving up-to-date and authoritative information on treatments and lifestyle. It was useful to hear from patients as well as experts”.
She has made many changes to her lifestyle since her diagnosis, including losing weight, cutting down her intake of alcohol, red meat and processed food and aiming to walk 10,000 steps a day, and adds: “If you have limited time, it is important to live well, even if your life won’t be as long as you had hoped. You can improve your chances of living a healthy and active life, even if you can’t be cured.”
To register, visit Let’s Talk about Cancer 2019.