Health bodies across the borough are being urged to work together to help beat cancer and reduce incidences of the disease among residents.
Croydon’s Health and Wellbeing Board will this week (Wednesday 14) examine what needs to be done to boost early detection and treatment of cancer, particularly in areas where communities are susceptible to certain types of the disease. This action coincides with the current national focus through the government’s Be Clear on Cancer campaigns.
Cancer causes one in four deaths in the UK and kills about 945 Croydon residents each year. Although incidences of cancer and cancer deaths locally are lower than England averages, Croydon does have challenges, in particular around breast and bowel screening.
The ongoing work to improve screening rates in partnership with Cancer Research UK and Macmillan is commended. However, it is recognised that more needs to be done through local services working together to give residents the best possible cancer care provision, increase healthy life expectancy and improve well-being and quality of life for all.
To achieve this, board members will seek ways to build stronger partnerships between local commissioners of cancer services, with the Clinical Commissioning Group and Croydon Council, via its public health remit, reinforcing their links with national partners such as NHS England and Public Health England.
This would include making more information about cancer available at GP practices, pharmacies, health services and voluntary sector outlets, and wider promotion of local and national cancer awareness events.
These actions could help to improve the cancer outcomes for residents, as well as address local health inequalities in detecting the disease by tracking cancer from prevention, awareness and screening to early diagnosis and treatment.
Councillor Maggie Mansell, chair, Health and Wellbeing Board
“Our aim is to work with GPs and health professionals to make cancer services in Croydon even better as early diagnosis and treatment are vital in the fight to beat the disease.
“Many cases can be prevented through changes to lifestyles, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, drinking less alcohol, keeping active, and eating more healthily. Smoking alone causes 28% of cancer deaths and this burden falls disproportionately on deprived communities.
“Cancer is far more treatable now than when I started work in the NHS, with survival rates doubling in 10 years. We are reminding residents to be mindful of their health and how they’re feeling. If something changes in your body, please check it out. Breast screening can save your life and it’s important to respond to the opportunity if you get an invitation.”