Education and awareness 

Late diagnosis of cancer at stages three and four, as opposed to stages one and two, is one of the key factors that contribute to England’s lower survival rates (compared to the best in Europe). There is evidence that improved public awareness of cancer symptoms can deliver an earlier diagnosis and that raised public awareness of risk factors can help deliver population behavioural change.

The education and awareness programme targets residents, healthcare professionals and non-healthcare professionals. The programme has two strands:

  • Population awareness

  • Deflate Cancer

    We are taking a giant inflatable colon and breast to various locations in London to educate the public about signs and symptoms of cancer.


  • Highlight Cancer

    We are teaming up with Cancer Research UK to roll-out their Talk Cancer training to non-healthcare professionals in client-facing roles, including hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, café owners/staff and pub landlords/staff, to increase awareness and provide valuable tips on how to approach conversations about cancer with their customers.

    The three hour workshops are FREE to attend and will help people to:

    • Understand key messages around cancer awareness
    • Improve confidence and ‘know how’ to make the most of conversations with clients/customers
    • Encourage people to make healthy lifestyle changes, use local services and contact their GP with any concerns.

    For more information about Highlight Cancer and to register your interest in future workshops, please contact

  • Primary care education

  • Colorectal cancer - online GP education

    We have worked with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to develop an elearning module about the presentation of colorectal cancer. The 30-minute module, aimed at GPs and other primary care professionals, provides an overview of the colorectal cancer pathway, with a particular focus on the reasons behind late presentation. Diagnostic and screening investigations are also explored, and next steps following referral to the cancer pathway are discussed.

    This eLearning module is accessible from here: Completion of the course counts towards CPD.

    Watch a short video on the elearning module here.

  • Coding and safety netting e-learning for GPs

    We are working to support GPs by providing practical solutions that address the need for rigorous safety netting in primary care.

    We have developed an e-learning module with Macmillan Cancer Support - Coding and safety netting in the context of cancer.

    The course is suitable for GPs, GP trainees and other primary care clincial staff. The aims of the course are:

    • To be aware of the clinical and non-clinical implications of coding
    • To raise awareness of the benefits of coding and safety netting in improving clinical care, diagnosis and community management of individuals with cancer and other long term conditions
    • To gain skills in high quality coding and electronic methods of safety netting within everyday clinical practice.
  • Two week wait referral feedback

    When a GP suspects that a patient may have cancer, they can make a ‘two week wait’ referral to hospital so that the patient’s symptoms can be investigated fully and quickly. It is very important that the right information is included in the two week wait referral form so that there are no delays to diagnosis and treatment.

    The two week wait referral survey is a key piece of work being carried out by the UCLH Cancer Collaborative as part of the national Cancer Vanguard.

    The aim of this project is to gather information from secondary care to provide feedback to GPs on how the quality of two week wait referral forms can be improved, to increase efficiency in using the right target pathways and speed up diagnosis. Working with primary care cancer leads, a number of tumour sites to focus on are identified based on local data. Some of these include:

    • Lung
    • Lower GI
    • Upper GI
    • Haematology
    • Dermatology
    • Breast
    • Gynaecology
    • Hepato-biliary (HPB)

    The collated feedback is being shared across primary care networks. Feedback reports for Camden and West Essex are available to download here.

    Feedback on other cancers such as sarcoma and suspected children’s and young people’s cancer will also be captured and shared. The completed reports for all CCGs will be made available on this page.

  • Gateway-C online GP education pilot

    Gateway-C is an online learning platform, created by Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation, to help GPs recognise when patients may have cancer. This cancer education work harnesses the wealth of experience, both in Greater Manchester and nationally, to support GPs in identifying suspected cancer, especially when symptoms are vague or unclear.

    The Gateway-C digital education platform features videos and learning activities to help GPs not only recognise symptoms, but more fully engage with patients and make referrals for diagnostic testing in line with national guidance. Gateway-C currently features two educational modules on lung and colorectal cancer and GPs have already made an invaluable contribution to its development.

    The UCLH Cancer Collaborative and Greater Manchester Cancer Vanguard Innovation are piloting Gateway-C amongst GP practices in Camden and Islington from April 2017. The aim is to test the effectiveness of the learning modules that have been developed and also inform future development.

    For more information about Gateway-C, visit the website on For details about the pilot, contact

  • Getting it right - sharing the learning

    We are working with Macmillan to showcase good practice in public health campaigns from around the country. Our joint event brought together public health professionals, GPs, academics and healthcare workers to share learning about successful public health campaigns to promote the earlier diagnosis of cancer from across the country that can be replicated in London.

    We produced a publication to accompany the event with a number of case studies showcasing some excellent examples of campaigns. Click here to download the booklet

    Copies of the slides from the event are available to download here: