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Cancer Research UK launches online course to help people talk about cancer

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by Cancer Research UK | News

22 September 2016

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Cancer Research UK is launching its first online course to help people have more confident conversations about cancer.

“We’re launching this course to help people overcome any obstacles to talking about cancer” – Jo Cooke, director of patient and public engagement 

The free course, Talking About Cancer, aims to help prevent cases of cancer and improve early diagnosis. It is designed for health workers and professionals including doctors, nurses and volunteers who talk to others about cancer, particularly about prevention.  

The course is also suitable for anyone interested in helping others improve their health.

The course teaches conversation techniques to advise people how to make healthy lifestyle changes and to see a doctor when they notice an unusual change in their body. It also covers myths and facts about the disease.

It is taught by Cancer Research UK trainers, alongside actors playing roles to show effective and ineffective conversations. It includes videos and quizzes, and participants can take part in online discussions. The course doesn’t require any previous training in the subject.

Talking About Cancer begins on 10th October 2016 and is open for registration now.

The course takes three hours to complete. Arranged in short modules, it is designed to be easy to navigate, and participants can do it at their own pace, over three weeks, stopping and starting as they wish.

Jo Cooke, director of patient and public engagement at Cancer Research UK, said: “Talking about cancer can be tough. People might be worried that they’ll say the wrong thing, that they don’t know enough about the subject – or they may be unsure about how the conversation will go. We’re launching this course to help people overcome any obstacles to talking about cancer.

“More than 2,000 people took the course in a trial run earlier this year, and they showed gains in cancer knowledge, communication skills and confidence. Some participants have already put the skills into practise, helping others find reliable information or making healthy changes to their lifestyle.”