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Health

Get Mouthy About Cancer

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THE HEAD and Neck Cancer Foundation (HNCF) is calling all Brits to ask their dentists to conduct mouth cancer screens at their next appointment. This should be routinely included within the price of a dental check-up and should take no more than one minute.

Consumer research conducted by HNCF in partnership with YouGov – as part of its Get Mouthy About Cancer campaign – shows that we could all be doing more to specifically drive early diagnosis of mouth cancers.

Early detection is paramount to improving patient outcomes – as these types of cancers can be extremely aggressive, disfiguring and life-limiting.

HNCF’s research asked people in Wales how often they have routine dental check-ups and if they are receiving mouth cancer screening.

6% of people in Wales admit to never going to the dentist for a check-up and a further 3% said they do not recall the last time they went to the dentist

Only half of the Welsh population visit the dentist every six months for a routine check-up.

Shockingly, over half (51%) of those in Wales stated that they were not sure if their dentist had carried out a mouth cancer check at their last check-up

When looking nationally at overall awareness of mouth cancer screening – nearly three-quarters of all Brits stated their dentist does not do a regular mouth cancer screen, or they are unaware of it being done during their last check-up. Which means the vast majority of us are missing out on this simple routine and potentially life-saving screen.

Michelle Vickers, CEO at The Head and Neck Cancer Foundation commented on the findings: “As a nation, we are regrettably unaware that our dentists can play a huge role in oral cancer detection and be routinely screening for signs of mouth cancer during check-ups. Dentists are taught to do this as part of their standard oral check-up process. If people were screened they would know – as the tongue is held to either side of the mouth and the dentist is likely to follow the gums for signs of abnormal growth. We are asking everyone to ask their dentist for a routine screen the next time they visit – it’s really that simple.

“We’ve introduced our Get Mouthy About Cancer campaign because we all hear so often (and know how) to check our boobs or balls – but I bet the majority of people are unaware of what they’re looking for in their mouth! 31 people are diagnosed with head and neck cancers each day in the UK – so it’s time to get talking about what to look for. We brush our teeth daily – just an extra 30-60 seconds to check oral health could save your life!”

To find out how to check please watch HNCF’s video: http://bit.ly/HNCFWales. Once you’ve seen this video you will know whether your dentist is checking your mouth, or not, and how to check yourself at home.

Professor Mark McGurk, world-renowned surgeon and founder of HNCF added: “We want everyone to be having a conversation about mouth cancers. By bringing routine mouth checks front-of-mind and putting it on the agenda – we will raise awareness, raise the number of early detections and reduce the number of people facing stage two and three mouth cancers.”

For those patients who do detect mouth cancer early, technological and medical innovation means that treatment can now be offered in a much less invasive manner, by using the Sentinel Node Biopsy technique (SNB). SNB is an alternative and significantly less invasive treatment for dealing with head and neck cancers. The fluorescent camera and technology locates the nodes in the neck that will contain migrating cancer cells so that these can be targeted and removed – this saves over 70% of patients with early disease from a neck dissection. It spares vital glands and helps patients get back to a normal life more quickly, compared to traditional neck dissection techniques.

SNB has been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), is fully adopted in Denmark and the Netherlands, and is growing in deployment across Europe and the US. This practice, pioneered by Professor Mark McGurk, is the result of 15 years’ development and is based on the findings of nearly 500 cases.

HNCF works to educate and train both surgeons and nurses around the UK on this treatment and state-of-the-art technology, to bring a better outcome and time-saving treatment to oral cancer patients.

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Health

Caring people – You could make a difference

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ARE you looking for a challenging and rewarding career that will enable you to make a difference to people’s lives?

Then you might be interested in a virtual recruitment event on Thursday, 30 th September which will focus on careers in home care in Pembrokeshire.

“If you’re a compassionate, committed, caring person and are looking for a change of career, then it’s really worth considering home care,” said Amy Simes from Pembrokeshire County Council’s Community Wellbeing and Independence Team (CWAIT).

“The team is looking for people with these qualities to provide physical and emotional support to individuals in their own homes to enable them to remain as independent as possible.

“Experience would be an advantage but not essential as a full induction and training programme will be provided.”

A home care role will require you to attend to the personal needs of the individuals for whom support is provided. This could include assisting with washing, personal hygiene, dressing and preparing meals. And not least bringing a smile to their faces!

Home care worker Ron Powell says he believes he has one of the best jobs in the world.

“This is much more than a job to me, it is about people, community, and making a difference,” he said.

“I think that trust, kindness, humility and having a bright personality are important qualities of a home care worker.  You may be the only person a client will see during the day or evening so it is important to make the time you spend with a person as enjoyable and positive as possible.”

Dawn King, who is also a home care worker, says the best things about her role are ‘feeling I get knowing I’m making a difference in a person’s life, being there for people, a smile and making sure people are treated kindly’.

Please click on the link below if you’d like to read more from some of Pembrokeshire’s home care workers:

https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/adult-social-care-apprenticeship-programme/community-wellbeing-and-independence-team

The virtual recruitment event on 30 th September will provide an opportunity to meet the CWAIT team, hear all about the role, opportunities for career progression and the personal qualities they are looking for and what they can offer.

There will be expert talks on: CV writing, completing application forms, preparing for interviews and social care qualifications.

Participants will have the chance to ask questions or chat privately with the CWAIT team and speakers. They can join using any device.

If you’d like more information, or to book your place, then please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/170330413853

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Health

NHS Covid Pass to enter large scale events and nightclubs to be introduced

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Next month, people in Wales will need to show an NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events.

The move has just been announced by the first minister today (Friday 17th September).

According to the government, the measure is being introduced to control the spread of Covid in Wales, where cases are now at an all-time high.

Despite the increase in cases, the alert level will remain at zero for the next three weeks, and no new restrictions beyond passes will be introduced.

The First Minister is urging everyone to work from home whenever possible and to get fully vaccinated.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Across Wales, coronavirus cases have risen to very high levels over the summer as more people have been gathering and meeting.

“Tragically, more people are dying from this terrible virus.

“The very strong advice we have from our scientific advisers is to take early action to prevent infections increasing further.

“The last thing we want is further lockdowns and for businesses to have to close their doors once again. That’s why we must take small but meaningful action now to control the spread of the virus and reduce the need for tougher measures later.”

On October 11, the NHS Covid Pass requirement takes effect.

All people over the age of 18 will need to have a pass to enter:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions
  • Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
  • Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance

It means concerts and large scale sports events will now require the passes.

People who are fully vaccinated in Wales can already download the NHS Covid Pass to securely show and share their vaccine status.

It also allows people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

Mr Drakeford continued: “My message to you today is a simple but serious one – the pandemic is not over and we all need to take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

“We have high levels of the virus in our communities and while our fantastic vaccination programme has helped stop thousands more people from becoming seriously ill or dying, the pressure on the NHS is increasing.

“We hope introducing the requirement to show a COVID pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.

“Showing a COVID Pass is already part of our collective effort to keep businesses open with some major events, such as the successful Green Man Festival, using it.

“We will continue to work closely with all businesses affected to ensure a smooth introduction and operation of this system.”

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Health

Tesco pharmacy in Haverfordwest offering flu jabs this autumn to boost uptake and help save lives

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Tesco pharmacy in Haverfordwest is offering flu jabs in store

A Tesco pharmacy in Haverfordwest is offering flu jabs in store from this month in an attempt to boost uptake in the local area.

The pharmacy, which can be found at the Tesco Extra store in Fenton Trading Estate, Portfield, Haverfordwest, will be offering jabs free to people who are entitled to receive them on the NHS. Locals who are not eligible for a free flu jab will be able to buy one for just £9. All jabs must be booked in advance, and slots can be booked now online .

Haverfordwest is just one of a number of Tesco pharmacies across Wales that are offering the flu vaccine this autumn in order to help keep the nation healthy.

With longer opening hours than many GP surgeries and high-street pharmacies, customers can get vaccinated at a time that fits around their schedule including evenings and weekends, or even combine it with their weekly shop.

The safety of colleagues and customers remains Tesco’s number one priority and there are extensive Covid-19 safety and social distancing measures in place to ensure that customers feel safe while using this service. The flu jab will be given by a Tesco Pharmacist in a private consultation room that will be cleaned before each appointment.

The flu vaccination push is part of a campaign supported by leading charities British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK and Cancer Research UK, which have joined forces with Tesco to encourage more people to protect themselves and their families, and continue to do their bit for the NHS, by getting the flu jab.

James McDonald, Regional Pharmacy Manager Wales, said: “We want to make getting your vaccination as easy as doing the weekly shop.

“We’re doing all we can to make it as convenient as possible for people to get their flu jab to protect themselves and their families. This is the most important flu jab ever for those at risk.”

Maureen Talbot, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation speaking on behalf of the Helping you to live healthier partnership, said: “People with conditions including heart disease, diabetes and many cancers are at increased risk of severe illness if they get the flu. This year, the presence of COVID-19 adds to that risk, so it’s even more important that people get vaccinated. 

“We’d encourage everyone with a qualifying health condition to take up a free flu jab. Getting the jab will ensure you’re protecting yourself as well as playing your part in helping to ease pressure on the NHS at an extremely busy time.”

For people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, the flu can be deadly. The flu jab was associated with a 50% reduction in mortality during flu season for people living with type 2 diabetes, according to research carried out over a seven-year period.

For people with heart and circulatory diseases, having the flu vaccine cuts the risk of a heart attack by 27% and of dying by 25%. Data shows that in the winter of 2019/20, there were around 6,600 excess deaths from heart and circulatory diseases in the UK, with flu likely to be a contributing factor.

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