Cancer and early diagnosis: a dynamic situation in East London

Cancer and early diagnosis: a dynamic situation in East London
Published in June 2011

Diagnosis of cancer at a later stage is generally agreed to be the single most important reason for the lower survival rates in England. The key to preventing the majority of these deaths is to get people diagnosed earlier.

Social Action for Health looked at the interactions between doctors and patients and produced:

    • a model of working starting from within communities, working out into the context of service provision to find the meaning of direct experience as the key to social change
    • a causal picture of the dynamic situation that results in late diagnosis
    • some recommendations for how to improve the local situation in which a disproportionate number of local people from marginalised communities die too young from cancer
    • a positively evaluated empowerment training programme to equip local people in taking more control of their health and having more autonomy in consultations with health care professionals.

Using community development principles and participatory theatre techniques in an action learning framework, Social Action for Health both researched the situation and came up with ways to improve it, working to ensure that the inquiry and interaction were interwoven, with the way the work was done as important as the issues.

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