Time to talk about it

Published on: Monday, 01-February-2016

Knowsley Health and Wellbing Board  is launching a new health campaign that urges people to start thinking, talking and taking action to reduce the devastating impact of it, but everyone’s asking: ‘What exactly is it?’

It, of course, is cancer. Whilst cancer survival rates have doubled in the past 40 years, studies have shown that one in five Knowsley residents still regard a cancer diagnosis as a death sentence and are uncomfortable talking about it.
 
The it campaign aims to refresh the conversation around cancer and lift the taboo surrounding the subject, so that people will take positive and decisive action towards tackling it head-on.
 
Councillor Eddie Connor, Health and Wellbeing Board Member and Knowsley Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing said:
 
“Many people automatically associate cancer with a terminal illness which they can’t do anything to prevent or treat. This is a major obstacle that stands in the way of people getting themselves checked out and taking action to reduce the likelihood of developing it.
 
“The it campaign aims to overcome the common misconception that cancer is always a terminal illness. We want to let people know that there is plenty of support available, and that if they take the right steps and aren’t afraid to have a check-up then there is every chance that if they have got cancer it will be diagnosed at an early stage and treated effectively so they can go on to live long and healthy lives.
 
“I’m looking forward to getting local businesses and residents involved to ensure the whole community is thinking about, talking about and taking action against it.
 
Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health, said:
 
“It’s absolutely crucial that we empower Knowsley residents to stand up and confront it. Cancer is one of the biggest health issues facing us in the borough.  The campaign will help residents better understand how it affects us and what we can do to tackle it.
 
“There are many small things you can do to change your lifestyle and help reduce your chances of developing it. Being more physically active, for example walking more and using the stairs rather than the lift,  stopping smoking and drinking less alcohol as well as going for cancer screening appointments such as bowel cancer and cervical cancer screening when invited all have a huge impact and will make you feel healthier, happier and more energised.”
 
The it campaign wants the whole of Knowsley to get involved and encourages support from local businesses, health centres and community groups.
 
To find out more about it, visit healthyknowsley.co.uk. To keep up-to-date with the campaign follow it on twitter or find it on Facebook.