‘Let’s Talk About Cancer’ says Parky

Sir Michael Parkinson is urging people to talk about the disease after being diagnosed with it himself. Catherine Scott reports.

Sir Michael Parkinson is encouraging cancer patients across Yorkshire to share their experiences at an event hosted by Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Sir Michael, 83, has spoken about the struggles he faced following his own cancer diagnosis to help promote Let’s Talk about Cancer, a free event taking place at Magna Science Centre, Rotherham, on Thursday March 14.

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Barnsley-born Sir Michael was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013 and received the ‘all-clear’ from doctors in summer 2015 following two years of treatment. He became patron of Yorkshire Cancer Research in 2016 to help support better diagnosis, treatment and care for those living in the region.

“When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I was shocked. But the doctors were very positive, and I soon had a good treatment plan in place which put me at ease,” says Sir Michael.

“However, I soon learned there is so much more to cancer than simply having access to the best treatment. The experience showed me how important it is that more support is provided to address the emotional, physical and practical needs of cancer patients and their loved ones.

“That’s why I’m so proud to support Let’s Talk about Cancer. Yorkshire Cancer Research has pulled together a fantastic programme to support people in living well with and after cancer. Let’s talk about cancer, share our learnings and help one another.”

Patients and their families, friends and carers are invited to attend the full-day event, which will include talks by leading experts on how to live well with and after cancer. There will also be an opportunity to take part in practical activities such as yoga and learn about techniques like mindfulness. A variety of services will provide exhibithion stands on the day, including other charities, fitness providers and NHS services. Those attending will also have the chance to talk to people going through similar experiences.

Let’s Talk about Cancer was officially launched at Magna Science Centre by a selection of speakers and attendees, including Emma Schofield, Health and Wellbeing Officer at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, Aimee Pendlebury-Worrad, Yorkshire Cancer Research Nurse at Weston Park Hospital, and Angela Eyre, a local mindfulness practitioner.