Cancer Questions

Cancer is not catching.

Sneezing or touching does not pass it on to other individuals. There are some infections in the form of bacteria or viruses that are not cancer, but they can create the conditions for a cancer to develop. Most commonly this is because they may weaken our bodies ability to destroy cancer cells by affecting the immune system.

The recently publicised new vaccine to prevent young girls developing cancer of the cervix (lower end of the womb), acts against the virus that is known to significantly increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. The number of new cervical cancer cases has fallen significantly in richer affluent countries due to screening and preventative treatments, but women in poorer developing countries are still significantly affected.

Women from UK BME communities are less likely to take up invitations for cancer screening than the general British female population. Lack of awareness about cancer may be compounded if English is not the first language. Complex medical jargon is not always easily translated or interpreted into other languages.

One of our Language Service advisors "Language is Everything" have confirmed that it can take tp to five years to master a new language. Culturally sensitive telephone helplines and translation services are needed for people affected by cancer, whose first language is not Engish. Interpreters and translators should also be trained and supported if they are working with people affected by cancer. BME Cancer Communities can provide culturally sensitive cancer awareness training.