Encouraging residents to get themselves checked out
The Get to Know Cancer pop-up shop will open at Southside in Wandsworth on January 20th.
The shop is being run by the council’s public health team, in partnership with Southside. It aims to help spread the message about cancer prevention, and to encourage people to get themselves checked out – especially men.
Men are 37 per cent more likely to die of cancer than women because they are less likely to recognise cancer symptoms and therefore less likely to visit the doctor.
No appointment is necessary – you can just pop-in for five minutes while you shop to find out more about what causes common cancers, what symptoms to look out for, and how to reduce your risk.
Specialist nurses Sheila and Eddy will be on hand to provide free health check-ups, including blood pressure and BMI monitoring, as well as to look at worrying lumps and moles. They will also encourage people to make use of the health services offered by the council, such as health trainers, stop smoking and weight management services.
The shop promises to be friendly and very informal - there is no pressure and no need to make an appointment.
It is the second time that Wandsworth has held a pop up shop dedicated to preventing cancer and builds on the successes of the first, also hosted by Southside, last year. Just under two thousand people of all ages dropped in, with over 600 having a one to one health chat with a nurse.
Local cancer survivors have come on board to support the shop. They will appear on publicity posters and will attend the official launch on January 23rd.
One of them, 35-year-old Moses, was diagnosed last year with thymoma - cancer of the thymus gland. He is currently in the second phase of treatment.
“At first I thought I had a chest infection, which I ignored for the best part of a year,” he says. “When I started to cough up blood and lose weight I put it down to stress. It got to the point that I stopped noticing the cough.
“I finally booked an appointment with my GP who arranged for X-rays. By the time my cancer had been confirmed it had spread. I started treatment immediately.
“My advice would be to listen to your body and go to the doctor. Cancer is not always somebody else’s problem.”
Director of Public Health Houda Al Sharifi said: “Last year’s shop was a huge success, but we’re keen to get the message out to more men this year. We want them to take Moses’ advice and get any symptoms checked out early.
“I would urge anyone shopping in Southside to pop in – it’s free, quick and easy so you have nothing to lose. I’d also like to thank Southside for hosting the shop again, and for being so helpful and supportive.”
General Manager of Southside, Neil Churchill, said: ‘We are delighted to once again be supporting Wandsworth Borough Council with the Get to Know Cancer pop up shop.
“With the campaign’s success last year and with high numbers of customers Southside is an ideal location to engage with the community on important matters such as personal health and wellbeing. As was proven last year a convenient location with easy access can be key to getting that early diagnosis.’
The Get to Know Cancer pop-up shop is in Southside Shopping Centre, opposite TKMaxx. It is open daily from 9am-7pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 9am – 6pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm
January 28, 2015