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Talking About Cancer: Reducing Risk, Early Detection and Myth-busting

Cancer Research UK via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


Learn how to talk about reducing cancer risk and spotting cancer early.

1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. Talking about how to reduce cancer risk and the importance of early detection isn’t always easy, but it can make a real difference to peoples’ health.

You might be worried you’ll say the wrong thing or that you simply don’t know enough about the subject. The Talk Cancer experts from Cancer Research UK’s cancer awareness training programme are here to help.

Taking aspects from the Talk Cancer workshop, on this course you’ll learn…

How to talk to people about how to reduce the risk of cancer

There are a variety of things that can help to reduce people’s risk of cancer, such a not smoking and keeping a healthy weight. This course will help you to support people to understand what causes cancer and what healthy changes they could make to reduce their risk.

The importance of early detection of cancer

Spotting cancer early increases the chances of survival. You’ll learn how to talk to others about the importance of early diagnosis and encourage people to know what’s normal for their body and visit their doctor if they notice any unusual changes.

The skills you gain on this course could also be helpful when talking to somebody affected by cancer.

This course is designed for anyone who would like to improve their ability – personally or professionally – to have conversations about cancer and health.

It will be particularly useful for those with an interest in sharing the causes of cancer, the importance of early diagnosis and advocating for cancer prevention and cancer screening.

The course will be helpful professionally for those working or volunteering in the following healthcare areas: health advocacy, health promotion, care and support work, community health centres and services, GP surgeries, mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, oncology, osteopathy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dentistry, public health, radiotherapy, sexual health, social work.


  • Myths, facts and listening skills
    • Welcome to Talking About Cancer
    • Key facts and health messages
    • Myths and facts in everyday conversations with Anita and Brian
    • What have you learned this week
  • Break through barriers and encourage action
    • What are the barriers?
    • Barriers to making healthy changes
    • Barriers to seeing a doctor
    • What have you learned this week?
  • Prepare for conversations and develop an action plan
    • Managing our own feelings
    • Conversations with the doctor
    • Preparing for your conversations
    • What have you learned?
    • Thank you, and well done!

Taught by

Gillian Kilgour


4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 70 ratings

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