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Respiratory Symptom Awareness

Conversation Starter Videos

These video clips are a series of extracts from three clinically trained colleagues explaining how they talk to the public. These videos have been created to help give healthcare professionals and those working in a community setting some ideas of how to strike up a conversation that may help someone to be diagnosed sooner.

Engaging local communities

Watch Gwen, Gill and Christina talk about the following topics and their experience of tackling some of the issues faced when engaging communities:

Keeping the message simple

Severity of symptoms

Going to the GP

Encouraging conversation

Early diagnosis

Fear of the word cancer

Be Clear on Cancer campaigns aim to improve earlier diagnosis of serious health conditions by increasing the public’s awareness of key signs and symptoms and encouraging people to go to their GP.

People may delay seeing their GP for a number of reasons; fear of wasting their time, not realising the importance of their symptoms or they may worry that they will be criticised or judged for their lifestyle choices. People may also brush symptoms away and ignore them, often putting them down to other things, such as old age or stress.

Pharmacists, community nurses, health care assistants and many others who work in the community setting, are in the privileged position of getting to know their patients and customers, seeing them on a regular basis and building a rapport with them. They are perfectly placed to help people to recognise that their symptoms shouldn’t be ignored and that they should go and see their GP.

Gwen trained as a nurse and has worked in a number of settings. She is one of the lead trainers on Cancer Research UK’s Talk Cancer training programme. This training helps community-based HCPs to build their skills and confidence to talk about cancer.

Gill is one of Cancer Research UK’s cancer awareness nurses. She has worked in a number of clinical settings and specialises in cancer awareness. Gill is a lead trainer on the Talk Cancer programme.

Christina is a pharmacist who works in Greenwich, London. Christina has experienced first-hand the impact that a conversation and a prompt to see the GP can have when it comes to changing the cancer outcomes for one of her customers.

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