Wednesday 27th February 2019

In summer 2018, the UK Government announced plans to make health education a statutory part of the curriculum in England. We welcomed the announcement at the time and called for this to include cancer education for every young person between the ages of 11 and 18 in the UK.

Young people with cancer

Access to cancer education is vital to helping young people recognise cancer warning signs and to breaking down the fear of talking about cancer, resulting in earlier diagnosis and treatment. 

After a period of consultation, during which we submitted a response, the Department for Education has released their draft guidance on Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education, and Health Education in England.

Responding to the draft guidance, Sasha Daly, Deputy Director for Policy and Influencing at Teenage Cancer Trust, said: 

The initial guidance promoting an understanding of how a healthy lifestyle can help prevent certain types of cancer in adulthood is positive, but still doesn't go far enough.

"Cancer is not just limited to preventable adulthood cancers and is the biggest killer of young people from disease," said Sasha. "Since the Government's NHS Long Term Plan commits to ensuring that 75 per cent of all cancers are diagnosed earlier, it's imperative that young people are given the knowledge to spot the warning signs and feel empowered to seek help early."