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Early Detection: Your Best Defence Against Cancer

Published on 16 February 2024 03:15 PM

As we journey through life, it's an inevitable truth that our bodies change. As we age, the risk of cancer increases, making early detection crucial for effective treatment and improved outcomes. At Age UK Westminster, we understand the importance of proactive health measures, which is why we're here to empower you with information and support to live longer and better lives.

Why Early Detection Matters:

The earlier cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat. This simple truth underscores the importance of regular screenings and prompt attention to any changes in your body. Here's why early detection is vital:

  1. Easier Treatment: Catching cancer in its early stages often means less aggressive treatments and a higher likelihood of successful outcomes.
  2. Reduced Spread: Early detection reduces the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body, improving outcome and quality of life.
  3. Improved Survival Rates: Timely detection significantly increases the chances of survival, offering hope and optimism for the future.

Taking Charge of Your Health:

Empower yourself with proactive steps to safeguard your well-being:

- Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to any changes, such as new lumps, blood in urine or poo, or persistent coughs. These could be early warning signs of cancer.

- Consult Your GP: Don't hesitate to discuss any concerns with your general practitioner or other health professional. They are there to support you and provide guidance on next steps.

- Attend Screening Appointments: Take advantage of screening programs and tests offered to your age group. These screenings can detect cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages.

- Open Dialogue: Talk openly about your health concerns and fears with your healthcare provider and loved ones. Support and understanding play a crucial role in navigating health challenges.

Support for Screening Attendance:

Age UK Kensington & Chelsea and Age UK Westminster are committed to ensuring that residents aged 50 and above can attend their screening appointments without barriers. We provide transportation assistance for those who would otherwise face challenges in reaching their appointments.

If you reside in Kensington & Chelsea, call 020 8969 9105.

If you reside in Westminster, call 020 3092 9914.

Did You Know?

- Bowel Cancer: The fourth most common cancer, early detection through screening can significantly improve outcomes. Offered to men and women aged 52 to 74. Residents aged 75 and above can request a screening test by calling 0800 707 6060.

- Breast Cancer: Regular screenings every three years from ages 50 to 71 are essential for early detection. For those aged 71 and above, appointments can be requested by calling 020 3758 2024.

- Cervical Cancer : There is a programme for preventing this cancer by detecting and treating early abnormalities which, if left untreated, might lead to cervical cancer. Screening is offered every 5 years to women aged up to 64 at your GP practice.

- Prostate Cancer: Request a blood test from your GP to monitor prostate health. This is particularly important for men, with a higher risk among black ethnic communities and those with a family history.

- Lung Cancer: Individuals aged 55 to 74, with a history of smoking, can request a free NHS lung health check by calling 020 7351 8607. This programme is active as from April 2024

If you have any health concerns, don't hesitate to reach out to your GP or other health professional for guidance and support.

Age UK Westminster and Age UK Kensington are here to support you on your health journey, providing transportation assistance for screening appointments.