The Maria Watt Foundation was instrumental in setting up the Be Child Cancer Aware campaign. It was felt that this should be registered as a new charity and so Be Child Cancer Aware Registered Charity 1141987 was incorporated in April 2011.
The mission of Be Child Cancer Aware is to provide information in order to raise awareness of cancer in children, teenagers and young adults.
Cancer in children and young people is more common than you think. There is a severe lack of awareness, and young lives are being lost due to late diagnosis.
Be Child Cancer Aware raises awareness of all childhood cancers in the following ways…
Awareness of signs and symptoms
We are all told that early diagnosis of cancer in adults saves lives – it is the same principle for children and young people. However, in order to gain an early diagnosis we must first be aware of the symptoms of cancer in children and teenagers. BCCA’s child cancer information pages provide details of the main signs and symptoms.
Awareness through schools information programme
Now working in partnership with Be Child Cancer Aware, our schools programme will ensure that all parents will be given information about the signs and symptoms of childhood cancer. We have produced a ‘Signs and Symptoms’ awareness card, and to date, over 3,500,000 cards have been delivered to over 10,000 schools. The awareness cards will be given to all parents of school age children. However, there is the unfortunate side of this programme which is cost, and we will need to fund it through fundraising activities. There are 12,000,000 cards to be printed and delivered to 35,000 schools.
Awareness with GPs
In particular, GPs need to be made more aware of the symptoms of various cancers. We need to ensure that every GP follows the guidelines contained in the NICE guidelines for cancer referral. Child cancer referral advice is viewable from page 42 onwards.
The symptoms of many child and teenage cancers are very often dismissed as usual ailments. If a child or teenager’s symptoms continue with no satisfactory explanation, then a referral must be made.