Cancer Research UK is opening a new cancer awareness hub in St Helens dedicated to helping people know how to reduce the risk of cancer and help spot it early.
The new ‘Your Cancer Awareness Hub’, based at the Millennium Centre on Corporation Street, is a free drop-in service run by nurses offering visitors information on making positive lifestyle changes like stopping smoking, drinking less alcohol and keeping a healthy weight.
Visitors can turn up on the day without an appointment or attend fortnightly for up to six repeat visits to get ongoing support or to talk about cancer and pick up information.
Nurses also encourage people to go to their GP with any concerns. Picking cancer up at an earlier stage means treatment is more likely to be successful.
Around 1,100 people are diagnosed with cancer in St Helens every year and around 500 people die from cancer in St Helens every year.
But experts estimate around 4 in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented in the UK, largely through healthier lifestyles.
Cancer Research UK Cancer Awareness Nurse Manager Ceri Eames said: “We’re so proud to launch Cancer Research UK’s new Your Cancer Awareness Hub in St Helens and look forward to getting information out to as many people as possible in the months to come in a convenient location as they go about their busy lives.
“Cancer is a disease which has affected almost everyone in some way so the opening of this new hub will be of great benefit to the local and wider community.
“We hope our regular presence in the community will encourage people to take on board cancer awareness messages. It will allow us to follow up with visitors when needed and we can guide them along the way, helping them to act on their intentions and take positive action as a result.
“We will be providing ‘Your journey’ cards and action plans to help people think about the health goals they’d like to work towards and track their progress towards these.
“The Hub is a chance for us to talk to people about steps they can take to help reduce their risk of cancer through changes like stopping smoking, reducing alcohol intake or being more active.
“As well as providing leaflets, we can also carry out Smokerlyzer tests to show how much carbon monoxide is in someone’s breath - and body mass index (BMI) tests to show someone if they are in a healthy weight range.”
Sue Forster, Director of Public Health for St Helens Council said, “We are pleased to support the Cancer Awareness Hub in St Helens. Catching cancer early is so important and by having this drop-in facility, people can go along with any worries or concerns they may have, find out more about cancer signs and symptoms and what support is on offer.”
The Hub is part of Cancer Research UK’s continued programme to make health information as accessible as possible to the public. Cancer Research UK nurses have met over 600,000 people since launching their community Cancer Awareness Roadshows in 2006 and adding their Your Cancer Awareness Hubs in 2016.