Newham volunteers raise awareness of spotting cancer early

A team of volunteers from spent the Mayor’s Show trying out some new approaches to cancer awareness as part of their ‘small c’ campaign.

It aims to make people aware that their chances of surviving cancer are so much better the quicker it is spotted. Volunteers wore T-shirts carrying the signs and symptoms of the main cancers.

Assia Rehman, from Community Links said: “This meant that as we walked around people could be reading this life saving information. For instance, many people don’t realise that a change in bowel habit is a possible symptom of bowel cancer and that they should see their GP if they have it. If people know the symptoms they can get to the doctor quickly and detect cancer early while it is small, making it much more likely they will survive. This is the key message of the ‘small c’ campaign.”

A courageous male volunteer, Abhay Bygott went a step further and gave people the opportunity to feel for the artificial breast cancer lumps embedded in his padded bra costume.

He said: ““When I was asked to be involved in a life saving project such as the small c campaign I jumped at the opportunity, however, it was not until I actually starting interacting with members of the community of all ages and backgrounds that I realised how good the idea of wearing the interactive breast model was.”

Jessica Gaviria, who created the padded bra, said: “Everyone learnt and laughed a lot. It was great to see so many people get involved and everyone reacted to it so well (no one offended or disgusted!) Even some older men and children were checking the breast for lumps! People at the Show told us that it was a brilliant idea for breaking down barriers when talking about breast examination. Others said it was a fun, jokey way to discuss something so important.”