What is Talk Cancer?

Talk Cancer trainer

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Want to commission training for a group of people in your area, or join one of our workshops? 

020 3469 8111

Would you like to do more to raise cancer awareness in your community?

Talk Cancer is a Cancer Research UK training programme to help you feel confident talking to people about ways to reduce the risk of cancer, spotting cancer early and screening.

Our hands-on, positive workshops and ongoing support will help you

  • understand the key messages around cancer awareness
  • improve your confidence and ‘know how’ to make the most of your conversations
  • encourage people to make healthy lifestyle changes, use local services and see their GP with any concerns

The workshops are down-to-earth, friendly and practical. They’re led by our Cancer Research UK trainers, who all have nursing backgrounds and years of experience talking to the public on the Cancer Awareness Roadshow. They’ve got a knack for putting people at ease and making cancer easier to talk about.

Our training is always backed up by the latest evidence around cancer prevention, early diagnosis and screening.

99% of trainees would recommend Talk Cancer to others.

Download the Talk Cancer flyer

It’s for anyone who can promote health and wellbeing as part of their role. That includes

  • Front-line public health and local authority staff
  • Practice staff  nurses, healthcare assistants and receptionists
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy teams
  • Health trainers
  • People in community and voluntary sector roles

Here’s how some previous trainees described their Talk Cancer experience:

“Made talking about cancer feel easy.”
“I really enjoyed the informality of the day. It was helpful to be able to contribute with my opinions and chat with others.”
“The workshop gave me confidence in how to approach somebody sensitively and put the message across without making them feel uncomfortable."
“Training went really well in a way that people could identify with and was fun – this was unexpected given the topic.”

95% of trainees tell us that the training met all of their needs.

More than 4 in 10 cases of cancer in the UK could be prevented, largely through lifestyle changes. And many more lives could be saved through early diagnosis.

With the right training, you can have simple yet powerful conversations that could make a real difference.

But we know talking about cancer isn’t always easy. Talk Cancer gives you the right tools and knowledge, so you’ll know what to say and how to say it.

Talk Cancer was set up to create lasting, sustainable change in how people talk and think about cancer. It has been running since 2012, following a successful pilot series of workshops in Sandwell. The results of this pilot have been published in Perspectives of Public Health

Our ongoing evaluation of Talk Cancer consistently shows that our training:

  • increases knowledge of cancer risk factors
  • increases knowledge of NHS Cancer Screening Programmes
  • breaks down negative beliefs about cancer
  • increases confidence in talking about different aspects of cancer with the public
“The training gives staff the know-how to raise awareness of cancer, whatever their role, and helps them feel able to talk about it.” – Talk Cancer commissioner

Read more detailed evaluation results in our Talk Cancer Descriptive Evaluation Report 2014-15

We offer two kinds of Talk Cancer training:

Talk Cancer

This workshop will help you feel confident having one-to-one conversations about cancer with people in your community. We’ll cover key cancer awareness messages, and explore how to share information as part of a meaningful, positive conversation. These workshops are for up to 20 people.

To see what you’ll learn, download the Talk Cancer learning outcomes

Talk Cancer: Train the Presenter

This workshop gives you the skills to confidently deliver a short, scripted cancer awareness presentation from Cancer Research UK to small groups. You get a presentation binder and a USB stick containing everything you need. These workshops are for up to 16 people.

We recommend coming to a Talk Cancer workshop before you move on to Talk Cancer: Train the Presenter, if possible.

To see what you’ll learn, download the Talk Cancer: Train the Presenter learning outcomes

Training for pharmacy teams

“I think this course should be essential for the whole pharmacy team, as it’s a great learning tool to help us help our patients” – Superintendent Pharmacist

We have developed tailored versions of our training to meet the needs of pharmacy teams. Take a look at how we helped them meet their specific needs.

Talk Cancer for pharmacists and pharmacy teams

Talk Cancer for pharmacy flyer

Talk Cancer for community pharmacy infographic

Pharmacist Christina Spyridou had her Talk Cancer training at the front of her mind when she encouraged a customer complaining of a persistent cough and tiredness to visit his GP. It turned out that he had lung cancer, but because it was caught early, he’s now in remission following treatment. “If it hadn’t been for Talk Cancer, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to say something to that customer of mine” said Spyridou. Read more about how the training has helped her in her role in CRUK’s blog post.

You can also read about how a CCG in East Anglia hopes to roll out Talk Cancer training across the region following the fantastic reception of two workshops co-funded by Macmillan Cancer Support for pharmacy staff that took place earlier this year: read the CCG's article.

Training for GP practice staff

“Both trainers were extremely good & informative. This training is useful for all receptionists & front line staff” – Practice Manager
“Very interesting, informative and enjoyable session - even for a nurse of over 30 years!” – Practice Nurse

Read more about how we’ve developed tailored training for GP practice staff:

Talk Cancer for GP practice staff

Get in touch to discuss the different options available to suit your needs.

Our workshops are lively and active, and there’s a real buzz in the room. Everyone in the group helps create the experience by sharing stories and ideas, so no two sessions are the same. There are group activities, discussion sessions and exercises that get everyone involved, and you’ll have lots of opportunities to connect with others, talk about your role and ask questions.

Trainees often tell us they’re surprised by how positive the training is, and how inspired they feel when they realise the difference they can make.

To find out more about what it’s like to attend, read previous trainee Evelyn’s blog post and check out this short video to see what the training is really like!

Talk Cancer - Cancer Awareness Training

Download our Talk Cancer flyer for a summary of what’s on offer.

After a Talk Cancer workshop, we hope you’ll feel inspired and ready to put what you’ve learned into practice. To keep that feeling going, we provide ongoing support and learning opportunities for everyone who attends.

You’ll have the option to receive quarterly emails with tips and ideas for having helpful and effective conversations about cancer. Take a look at an example of one of these updates.

You can also refresh your skills and interact with others as you learn with our online course Talking About Cancer. Read more about Talking About Cancer.

And, we’re always available to answer questions and support you as and when you need it – get in touch on 0203 469 8111 or talkcancer@cancer.org.uk

Want to commission training for a group of people in your area, or join one of our workshops?

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