Cancer (health and wellbeing needs in South Tyneside)
Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. The cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs (NHS Choices).
Cancer sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other areas. This process is known as metastasis.
More than one in three people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. In the UK, the four most common types of cancer are:
There are more than 200 different types of cancer, and each is diagnosed and treated in a particular way.
1.1 Spotting signs of cancer
Changes to your body's normal processes or unusual, unexplained symptoms can sometimes be an early sign of cancer.
Symptoms that need to be checked by a doctor include:
- a lump that suddenly appears on your body
- unexplained bleeding
- changes to your bowel habits
- a persistent cough
But in many cases your symptoms won't be related to cancer and will be caused by other, non-cancerous health conditions.
1.2 Reducing your risk of cancer
Making some simple changes to your lifestyle can significantly reduce your risk of developing cancer.
- healthy eating
- taking regular exercise
- not smoking. Smoking is the single biggest preventable risk factor for cancer.
- Ensuring if you drink alcohol you drink sensibly.
Early diagnosis through screening programmes is important in improving a person's quality of life as it can lead to early diagnosis.
1.3 Cancer in South Tyneside.
Cancer is a specific priority for South Tyneside and is identified as such in South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG) Commissioning Intentions, and as part of broader work on smoking-related diseases in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
The South Tyneside NHS RightCare Commissioning for Value (CfV) 'Where to Look' packs helped us identify the areas of greatest opportunity for improvement, with Cancer being recognised as one of our key priorities. Key areas that the pack highlighted where more work needs to be done to demonstrate improvements included:
- Cancer offers our biggest opportunity from a spend and outcomes perspective.
- Significant reduction in life years saved if Cancer was at the level of other CCGs.
- There is significant reduction in variation needed to bring South Tyneside to the level of its peer group in:
- Spend on elective admissions
- Mortality from all cancers under 75 years
- Mortality from lung cancer under 75 years
- Mortality from all cancers all ages.
South Tyneside has a cancer locality group. This is a multi-agency group chaired by the CCG to work with key stakeholders including patient representatives to ensure South Tyneside identifies and works on its cancer priorities.
The locality group works closely with the Northern Cancer Alliance. This is the organisation a NE approach to cancer. It is a collaborative through which health, social care and third sector stakeholders can work together to develop and deliver new models of care to achieve our collective ambition to deliver the ambitions identified by the Cancer Taskforce.