Cancer is a powerful word. Those six simple letters when combined, have the ability to stop us in our tracks and fill us with fear. Despite advancements in diagnosis and treatment over the years, we still associate cancer with loss. The loss of our health, the loss of our future or the loss of someone we love. But is this still the case? Should we allow ourselves to be more hopeful? Should we encourage those we love and care about to do the same?
At the Beatson Cancer Charity we help people to understand what cancer means in 2022 and make sure they get the help and support they need when they need it. We know that the number of people in Scotland who are diagnosed with cancer has risen over the last 10 years. However, we also know that the number of people who die of their cancer has fallen over the same period. This means more people are being successfully treated or having their cancer controlled to let them live longer.
We also know that the earlier you get diagnosed the more likely you are to survive a cancer diagnosis. Early diagnosis is easier and more common with many cancers – such as breast cancer, but for other cancer types - such as pancreatic cancer, late diagnosis is still very common.
We also know that some parts of society are more affected than others with strong links between deprivation and an increased risk of a cancer diagnosis being made and at that cancer being at a later stage.
So how do we close these gaps and move towards a more hopeful future? We do this by making sure we talk honestly and openly about cancer to remove the fear and stigma that can still surround it. We invest time, effort and money into better and most easily accessible diagnostic equipment such as the new MRI scanner at the Beatson. We invest in research so that people get the best treatment and the best chance at a cancer free future.
We also invest in people, helping them to build their knowledge and understanding of what support they need and are entitled to. We build their confidence so they can talk confidently to family, friends, employers and colleagues about what they need to live as full a life as possible. We help them understand their needs and help them build their own coping mechanisms through wellbeing and psychological techniques. We offer compassion and care when things get tough and conversations about the future are filled with sadness, helping individuals and families to find hope in the toughest of times.
We work together with other organisations to make sure people get the help and support they need quickly and easily without red tape and bureaucracy. We go looking for those who might find it harder to ask for help or know where to turn so that no communities are disadvantaged simply because of where they live.
That is why the Beatson Cancer Charity is committed to providing care and support through our Wellbeing Centre and 7 satellite sites, the Specialist Health and Work Service, our Fear of Recurrence and Living with Uncertainty Programmes, our Befriending Service and through funding specialists posts, research and education to invest in a better future for cancer patients and their families.
If you or someone you love needs our help please call 0141 212 0505, or visit the Specialist Health and Work Service webpage here. #CloseTheCareGap 💛