It’s Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month and we’re supporting by getting people talking about their experience of cancer.
Rose Thompson, Director of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Cancer Communities in Nottingham said: “It is important that we recognise and share our experiences of cancer within our black and ethnic minority communities. Cancer is often something that is never discussed in these households and the aim of the awareness month is to reduce the secrecy amongst the community and to share stories.”
National statistics suggest that black and ethnic minority communities are less likely to access cancer support groups. In Nottingham, around 35% of the population is made up of BME groups,
Stories about living with cancer were shared at the first BME cancer awareness event held at Nottingham City Hospital’s Maggie’s Centre situated at City Hospital, off Hucknall Road this week. Patients, members of the local community and organisations from across Nottingham attended.
Rose, who is radiographer by background and trained in Nottingham, said: “It is vital that ‘Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness Month’ is recognised by health professionals as well as, the public, patients and families. As it can help to break down barriers and create awareness around different faiths and cultural sensitivity. It also allows patients to discuss alternative therapies that may be of preference to individuals and can highlight the support available in the community.”
Each year Ethnic Minority Cancer Awareness month has a specific theme to help highlight and dispel myths surrounding cancer knowledge and experience for individuals and their families. This year’s theme is ‘Stop Blame, Stop Shame’.”
She added: “Research shows that members of the BME communities are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer at an advanced stage and less likely to communicate their thoughts with others, so it is vital that we speak about cancer.”
Rose is no stranger to supporting projects that aim to target hard to reach groups in the community. In May 2016, she helped set up Nottingham’s first BME Prostate Cancer project supported by the group Friends and Bredrins (FAB) prostate cancer support group, which encourages black men to visit their doctor and increase their knowledge of the Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment test.
At the start of the year Rose founded the group ‘Sista’s Against Cancer’, a Nottingham based community support group, she jointly set up with colleagues to support women from a variety of communities living with cancer in Nottingham.
Rose added: “With Sista’s Against Cancer I always wanted to set up a service that would cater to the needs of the community and that would help give people a voice and a space to discuss what they are going through. Our aim is to have more health professionals attend our workshops, as we have a nutritionist who we work closely with and have regular activities to engage with our patients in the community.”
Sista’s Against Cancer meet every second Monday on the month. The next meeting will be held on Monday 30 July 2018 from 12pm – 2pm at the Carer’s Federation, 21-23 Pelham Road, Nottingham, and is open to all.
For more information visit www.bmecancer.com.
Tel: 0115 872 3953
Maggie’s Centre Nottingham: https://www.maggiescentres.org/our-centres/maggies-nottingham/