Macmillan Cancer Support begin their annual Cancer Talk Week – seven days of events and activities to raise awareness of cancer and for those who need support – on Monday, 21st January 2013. Macmillan – who marked their Centenary in November 2011 – also want schools up and down the country to “get talking and help raise awareness” of a disease that affects around 1 in 3 people around the UK.

Mesothelioma UK, the independent charitable trust, who provide specialist Mesothelioma cancer support, care and treatment was initially funded by Macmillan Cancer Support.

This year, Cancer Talk Week will focus on families, “how they can be the hardest people to talk to about cancer and how they can be there to support a person after a diagnosis.” Cancer Talk Week aims to encourage those affected by cancer – patients, family and friends – to “talk about the disease, their worries and how it affects them and their lives.”

Research into tumours and cancers and the effect on psychological health reveals that the immediate months after a confirmed diagnosis are, undoubtedly, the most critical in coming to terms with the reality of a cancer diagnosis.

While there has been a fall in mortality rates for many types of cancers, such as cervical, testicular, thyroid and malignant melanomas, the incidence of the asbestos-related mesothelioma cancer, which accounts for less than 1 per cent of all cancers diagnosed, is responsible for around 2,300 UK deaths each year.

According to figures released in October 2012 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) well over 50 per cent of the 8,000 deaths caused by occupational cancer in England and Wales each year are believed to be caused by asbestos exposure.

Click here for more information about Cancer Talk Week at the Macmillan Cancer Support website

You can also enquire at your local Macmillan Cancer Support information centre or get in contact via Twitter by using the hashtag #whodoyouturnto.

If you wish to become involved in raising cancer awareness in schools, you can:

• Request a Macmillan representative to talk about the services they provide for people affected by cancer and how you can support them.
• Hold a special assembly to raise awareness of cancer and how Macmillan supports those affected by the disease.
• Request to obtain and use a ‘Teaching about Cancer’ toolkit to deliver curriculum-linked lessons about cancer.
• Organise a fundraising event to help people affected by cancer.

Click here for more information about raising cancer awareness in schools, at the Macmillan Cancer Support website