Andrew Selous MP attended a Teenage Cancer Trust event at Portcullis House on 15 November to show his support for making cancer education a key part of statutory health education in secondary schools. Andrew Selous MP took part in a lesson that showed how important learning about cancer can be at a young age.
The event took place following the Department for Education’s publication of new proposals that will see a mandatory programme of relationships, sex education and health education delivered in schools. Teenage Cancer Trust is concerned that this draft guidance currently misses out crucial information about cancer.
Andrew Selous MP is supporting the charity in its call for more detailed cancer information on the curriculum that will educate young people about the types of cancer likely to affect them and how to spot the signs and symptoms to give them the best possible opportunity to get an early diagnosis.
Andrew Selous MP said: “I was delighted to attend this Teenage Cancer Trust event and to show my support for the charity’s call to put cancer education at the heart of new health education proposals in schools. It's vital that young people know the signs and symptoms of cancer so that they can act quickly if they suspect something is wrong. Schools have an essential role to play in boosting young people’s awareness of cancer.
"I urge the Minister of State for School Standards, Nick Gibb MP to take on board the recommendations from Teenage Cancer Trust and make cancer education a stronger focus in schools in the future.”
Sasha Daly, Head of Policy at Teenage Cancer Trust said: “Cancer, whilst rare in young people compared to adults, is still the biggest killer of young people by disease. We know that early diagnosis can make all the difference, which is why education in schools about the signs and symptoms is so important.
We too often hear heartbreaking stories about young people who are diagnosed with cancer too late. We want this and future generations to be armed with the right information, so they are more likely to feel confident to visit their GP or talk to their family if they have any health concerns as well as have awareness on how to prevent cancer as a life skill.
“Effective, sensitive and age-appropriate content about cancer in schools has the power to equip young people to take control of their health and advocate for themselves.
Teenage Cancer Trust is the only UK charity dedicated to providing expert care and support for the seven young people aged between 13 and 24 diagnosed with cancer every day. Working in partnership with the NHS, they have funded and built specialist units in hospitals across the UK that feel more like a home than a hospital ward.
Teenage Cancer Trust is also there for young people after their cancer treatment ends, helping them to adjust to their ‘new normal’ through an age-appropriate recovery programme.