Yetminster Health Centre

Open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6.30pm

Cancer Awareness

Cancer Awareness

We are letting everyone know about the most frequently reported types of Cancer in our local area, the symptoms of these cancers, and some of the help and support groups available.

Get in touch

We are here to help if you any new symptoms that you are concerned about or if you are feeling anxious and need to speak to someone. Contact the surgery and we can arrange for you to speak to a healthcare professional.

Alternatively, the Macmillan Cancer Support Line is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week on 0808 808 0000. You can also visit the Macmillan Cancer Support Website for online support, guidance and information.

Macmillan also offers Online Chat and Email services. If you are hard of hearing or deaf, you can ask for a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter call to be set up.


Prostate Cancer:

In the UK and locally, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, with more than 45,000 new cases diagnosed every year.

It’s not clear why it occurs, but your chances of developing prostate cancer increase as you get older. The condition mainly affects men over 65, although men over 50 are also at risk.

The risk of developing prostate cancer is also increased depending on your:

  • ethnic group – prostate cancer is more common among Black men than in White men, and is least common in Asian men
  • family history – having a brother or father who developed prostate cancer under the age of 60 seems to increase your risk of developing it, and having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase your risk of prostate cancer

Early prostate cancer does not usually cause any symptoms.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer:

If the cancer has grown large enough to put pressure on your urethra, the symptoms of prostate cancer can be difficult to distinguish from those of prostate enlargement. It’s much more likely to be prostate enlargement, but it’s important to rule out cancer.

The outlook for prostate cancer is generally good because, unlike many other types of cancer, it usually progresses very slowly. Prostate cancer therefore does not always need to be treated immediately. Sometimes, it may initially just be monitored and only treated if it gets worse.

You should contact the surgery if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • needing to rush to the toilet
  • difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • weak flow
  • feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied
  • blood in urine or blood in semen


Breast Cancer:

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer.  About 1 in 7 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. There’s a good chance of recovery if it’s detected at an early stage.

For this reason, it’s vital that women check their breasts regularly for any changes and always have any changes examined by a GP. In rare cases, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Symptoms of breast cancer

Breast cancer can have several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue. Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by a doctor. Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.

You should contact the surgery if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
  • discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
  • a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
  • dimpling on the skin of your breasts
  • a rash on or around your nipple
  • a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast


Skin Cancer:

There are two types of skin cancer: melanoma skin cancer and non-melanoma skin cancer. Non-Melanoma skin cancer is more common and usually less serious than melanoma.

Skin cancer is a type of cancer that can spread to other areas of the body. The main cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet light, which comes from the sun and is used in sunbeds.

The sun is often strong enough in the UK to damage your skin, even if it’s cold or cloudy. People who work outside such as farm workers, gardeners and building site workers are also at an increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Being careful in the sun for example, by using sunscreen and reapplying it regularly, lessens your risk of skin cancer. However, no sunscreen, no matter how high the factor, can provide 100% protection. Sunscreen shouldn’t be used to extend your time in the sun, and it doesn’t make sun tanning safe.

Like the sun – sunbeds, sunlamps and tanning booths give off ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV radiation from sunbeds (tanning beds) can damage the DNA in your skin cells.

If you want to tan, then using fake tan is a safer way to do it.

Other things that increase your chances of getting melanoma include your age and having pale skin, a large number of moles and a family history of skin cancer.

How melanoma is treated depends on where it is, if it has spread to other areas of your body and your general health. Surgery is the main treatment.

Symptoms of melanoma skin cancer:

Melanomas can appear anywhere on your body, but they’re more common in areas that are often exposed to the sun. Some rarer types can affect the eyes, soles of the feet, palms of the hands or genitals. Check your skin for any unusual changes. Use a mirror or ask a partner or friend to check any areas you cannot see.

Finding a melanoma as early as possible can mean it’s easier to treat. A new mole or a change in an existing mole may be signs of melanoma. See the NHS Melanoma website to find out more.

You should contact the surgery if you notice any of these symptoms:

  • you have a mole that’s changed size, shape or colour
  • you have a mole that’s painful or itchy
  • you have a mole that’s inflamed, bleeding or crusty
  • you have a new or unusual mark on your skin that has not gone away after a few weeks
  • you have a dark area under a nail that has not been caused by an injury

Awareness Campaigns:

Throughout the year there are lots of awareness, fundraising and support campaigns run by cancer support groups and charities. The cancers we have focused on each have their own specific campaigns to raise awareness and support. Please find information and links to their websites below:

  • During March the Prostate Cancer Awareness month takes place. The Prostate Cancer UK charity have lots of helpful resources and information about community, awareness and fundraising events. They also provide useful clinical information about prostate cancer, living with it and treating it. Visit the Prostate Cancer UK website for more information.
  • During May the Melanoma UK charity organise Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness month. Melanoma and Skin Cancer awareness month is annual campaign where Melanoma UK share information about prevention, detection, and risk factors, as well as tell the personal stories of some people who have been diagnosed with and survived skin cancer. They encourage everyone to take the time to learn about skin health and how to protect themselves and their loved ones. Visit the Melanoma UK website for more information
  • During September the Urology Foundation charity organise Urology Awareness month. Urology Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness of urological diseases including prostate, bladder, kidney, and male reproductive cancers. Visit the Urology Foundation website for more information.
  • During October the Breast Cancer UK charity organise Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign by Breast Cancer UK. As well as raising awareness Breast Cancer UK want you to get active to lower your risk of breast cancer. They encourage everyone to spend 30 days doing an exercise-based challenge this October and raise money to support breast cancer prevention. Visit the Breast Cancer UK website for more information.

Date published: 26th July, 2023
Date last updated: 1st August, 2023