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People living in Keighley are encouraging residents to come forward and get checked if they have any symptoms of cancer in local languages.

In Keighley and the surrounding areas 4,000 people are living with cancer. A series of videos have been created by Keighley and Worth Valley Community Partnership, part of Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership. They are voiced by some people who have had cancer themselves or have been directly affected – some having lost family or friends to the disease.

The videos are available in English, Urdu, Slovak, Bangla and Polish, and the message is simple: ‘If in doubt, get checked out’. The first video can be watched on Bradford District and Craven Health and Care Partnership YouTube channel.

Terry has lived in Keighley for 30 years, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer a couple of years ago after finding a lump after showering. Terry was at his GP practice the next day and had an operation the following week, he said: “By acting fast I believe I saved my own life. Spotting cancer early saves lives.”

Early diagnosis is key to improving the likelihood of successful treatment. The NHS are urging people to attend screening appointments when invited and contact their GP practice if there’s blood in their poo, unusual lumps or a cough for more than three weeks.

David Thompson, a General Practitioner (GP) in Keighley, said: “If you’ve noticed anything different or something that won’t go away contact your GP practice. Not all symptoms are serious and it may be nothing to worry about.

“Appointments will be done respectfully and in private with a health professional who will take any worries into consideration. They will talk through your symptoms and with your permission examine you. You may be referred to a specialist at your local hospital for more tests if needed.

“It is so important to come forward with any concerns, but it’s equally important to attend any screening appointments when invited. Screening is the best way to identify if you’re at increased risk of cancer. We use it to get ahead of the disease and start treatment even before your symptoms start.”

The NHS routinely offers cervical screening for all women aged 25 to 64, breast screening for women aged 50 to 70 years old, and a bowel screening home test for everyone aged 56 to 74 (this is being extended to people aged 54 to 74 from February 2024).

Cervical screening uptake is particularly low in Keighley, with one in four women not taking up the offer of the NHS screening invitation. Only 38% of the younger women in Airedale invited for breast screening have come forward, with efforts being made to improve breast screening uptake this year.

Making some simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce risk of developing cancer, including healthy eating, taking regular exercise and not smoking. Find out more about how a healthy lifestyle reduces your chances of developing cancer on the Macmillan Cancer Support website.