#DMUlocal, the award-winning community programme run by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), has teamed up with the local NHS hospitals' trust to tackle bowel cancer.
The entrance to the pop-up shop in the Haymarket
More than 30 DMU students have been trained by clinical staff to give advice and guidance about the cancer, which is the third most common type diagnosed in the UK and the second biggest killer.
The students and Leicester Hospitals’ reps are staffing a pop-up shop in the Haymarket Shopping Centre for the next two weeks offering free advice to those aged over 60 - and their relatives - to discuss using a bowel cancer testing kit, explain procedures for treating the cancer as well as offer healthy living tips.
Free bowel cancer screening is offered to all people over 60 with an average of 59 per cent taking up the potentially life-saving offer nationally.
But figures from last year reveal that Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has just 45 per cent of over 60s taking up the offer.
Come to the next DMU Open Day
DMU students offer care and compassion to cancer patients
#DMUlocal's Debbie Tinsley is interviewed about the project by the BBC
Dr Lynn Furber, Senior Lecturer in Cancer at DMU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “Bowel cancer screening is a really important initiative. If pre-cancerous polyps are detected and removed, it is possible to prevent a patient from getting cancer. Furthermore, if bowel cancer is detected at an early stage, treatment is more likely to work and there is the potential to save lives.”
Volunteer Lauren Raynor, a third year Pharmacy student at DMU, said: “We do a lot of health promotion and give advice on health issues as pharmacists. Cancer awareness is so important. Even if this project makes a difference to just one person it will have all been worth it.”
Fellow student volunteer Farida Okyere, who studies Biomedical Science, said: “Our subject involves a lot of learning about various diseases and I thought it would be a great idea to go out and help the public and raise awareness about bowel cancer screening.”
Dr Furber added: “Having spent time in the Bowel Screening Hub in Nottingham and with the Programme Manger based at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, I saw an ideal opportunity for #DMUlocal and our clinical teams and Public Health England to work together to develop an initiative to promote bowel cancer screening in Leicester City, with a view to educating local people about the importance of screening and improve uptake.
“If bowel cancer is detected early enough then we can potentially cure them. There has been a lot of excitement about this project and we are looking forward to working together on this initiative and hopefully more cancer screening initiatives in the near future.”
You can visit the pop-up shop, on the first floor of the Haymarket next to the lifts, every day for the next two weeks. From Monday 10 April a giant inflatable bowel that people can walk through will be set up in the shop to encourage people to talk more about bowel cancer.
Posted on Tuesday 4th April 2017