A month dedicated to awareness of bowel cancer to raise awareness, empower communities and save lives in Manchester.
National charity Cancer Equality used this month, July, to launch this year’s Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month (EMCAM), with the aim of raising awareness of bowel cancer and the importance of screening among Manchester’s ethnic minority communities.
The campaign also aims to help individuals take up the services that are available to them in Manchester – with the aim of saving lives.
The campaign is supported by Public Health England and by Bowel Cancer UK, with the charity providing speakers and resources.
Someone in the UK is diagnosed with bowel cancer every 15 minutes. That’s 33,218 men and women every year, with 12,871 cases proving fatal.
Ethnic minority communities, which make up 14% of Britain’s population, can be particularly at risk, because awareness of cancer and uptake of some cancer services, including screening, are lower in those communities. That means people from ethnic communities tend to be diagnosed when the disease is more advanced, which can lead to poorer survival rates.
EMCAM 2015 aims to tackle those issues, by working with Can-Survive UK – a Manchester based voluntary community organisation that provides practical help and culturally sensitive appropriate support to communities with a special focus on Black Minority Ethnic (BME) populations living with cancer and other long term health conditions.
Madhu Agarwal, Chair at Cancer Equality, said, “Over the past few years we have worked tirelessly with black and minority ethnic communities to promote increased awareness of cancer and empower individuals to take up services available to them. Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month provides an opportunity for communities to develop creative and unique approaches to focus on cancer. And although Cancer Equality leads in delivering the campaign we closely work with other charities to further this work.”
“Awareness of bowel cancer symptoms tends to be lower in men, younger people,
people from lower socio-economic groups and some BME groups.”
By working with Can-Survive UK who already has close links with ethnic minority communities in Manchester, Cancer Equality aims to reach as many people as possible throughout the campaign.
Marcella Turner, Director at Can-Survive UK said, “We are delighted to be involved in Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness month 2015 as the take up of cancer screening amongst ethnic minority groups is low, often leading to late diagnosis. This important initiative allows Can-Survive UK to further engage with black minority ethnic communities to raise awareness about bowel cancer; the signs, symptoms, risk factors and the importance of accessing the screening available.”
EMCAM 2015 is also working with three other regional organisations across the South East, North, West Midlands, and North West, including Croydon BME Forum (London), Black Health Initiative (Leeds) and Birmingham Empowerment Forum (Birmingham).
With support from Cancer Equality and Bowel Cancer UK, Can-Survive UK will run a range of bowel cancer awareness raising events and activities during EMCAM, aimed at different ethnic minority communities.
The focus of the events will be to raise awareness about the signs, symptoms and risk factors of bowel cancer, as well as to encourage the take up of screening, therefore increasing early diagnosis and treatment.
During July, Can-Survive UK will be delivering sessions to a wide range of community groups, such as:
Indian Senior Citizen Centre, 16-18 Whalley Rd, Manchester M16 8AB
African Caribbean Care Group, Claremont Resource Centre, Rolls Crescent, Hulme, Manchester M15 5FS
The Sugar Group, Kath Locke Centre, 123 Moss Lane East, Manchester M15 5DD
Can-Survive UK will also be hosting an EMCAM Bowel Cancer information stand at Moss Side Leisure Centre on Wednesday 27 July, 10am – 2pm.