New online cancer prevention course for health professionals launched

eLearning programme provides health professionals with tools to help patients reduce their cancer risk

28 May 2020

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has launched a free Cancer Prevention Online Course, that is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) accredited for health professionals. This new eLearning programme provides health professionals with the tools they need to help their patients implement effective changes to their diet and lifestyle, in order to reduce their cancer risk.

Around 40 per cent of cancers could be prevented if everyone was healthier* – this includes not smoking, eating healthily, being active and maintaining a healthy weight. The course has been created in collaboration with nutritionists, scientists, dietitians and behaviour change experts, to provide learners with the most up-to-date, evidence-based information. The course modules include WCRF’s 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations**, eat well during cancer, debunking cancer myths, and supporting behaviour change.

Consolidating knowledge

The eLearning is accredited by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) and counts towards the learner’s CPD; health professionals will also receive a certificate upon completion. The course lasts two hours, and ends with a short assessment to help consolidate knowledge.

The course will equip health professionals with the ability to recognise the links between diet, weight, physical activity and cancer risk. It will help them to raise the issue of lifestyle changes with patients and clients to facilitate behaviour change, and be able to access the science behind WCRF’s 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations. They will also know how to advise patients and clients living with cancer on how to eat well to cope with common side-effects of treatment, and how they can achieve a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of the RSPH said: “We are delighted that the new eLearning programme from World Cancer Research Fund has achieved RSPH accreditation. This is an endorsement of the high quality of the programme and recognises the support the programme provides for the education of healthcare professionals. It is vital that people are aware of the links between lifestyle factors and some cancers, and healthcare professionals are ideally placed to support people to make positive changes to help avoid these cancers.” 

Rachel Clark, Health Promotion Manager at WCRF, said: “The course was developed in response to health professionals asking for more training on the science underpinning our Cancer Prevention Recommendations, as patients often want to know the evidence behind health advice. We were also asked for more guidance on how to have conversations with patients that support healthy behaviour change. Our new course will guide health professionals in their conversations, to help their patients make lasting and effective changes in their diet, lifestyle, and physical activity to reduce their cancer risk.” 

Divya Bassi, Health and Wellbeing Practitioner at University Hospitals Bristol, said: “The eLearning course is a great educational resource for aiding healthy lifestyle choices, behaviour changes and providing cancer prevention advice, which applies to many health professionals in different settings. The course is excellent, informative and well presented, with an assessment at the end of the course to cement your learning.

“As a public health practitioner, evidence-based practice and evaluation are key, so I particularly like the summary of the scientific evidence for each section, and the checklist to record and evaluate your brief interventions with patients. It is also great to see how many resources the professional is signposted to and these will in no doubt be invaluable for people taking the course.”

The eLearning is available here.

Ends

For more information please contact Attiya Shaffi, Communication and Health Information Coordinator at a.shaffi@wcrf.org or 07823 325009

Note to editors:

*World Health Organization (WHO), Cancer Prevention, accessed 24/02/2020

**To reduce your risk of cancer, follow our Cancer Prevention Recommendations:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise more
  • Eat more fruit, veg, beans and grains
  • Avoid junk food
  • Don’t eat processed meat and limit red meat to three portions a week
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Don’t drink sugary drinks
  • Don’t rely on supplements
  • If you can, breastfeed your baby
  • Don’t smoke and be safe in the sun

About World Cancer Research Fund

World Cancer Research Fund is one of the world’s leading cancer prevention charities, and the only UK charity dedicated to funding life-changing research in the prevention of cancer through diet and lifestyle. We cut through the jargon to turn the latest global research on cancer prevention and survival into practical, straightforward advice and information, helping anyone who wants to reduce their risk of developing cancer to make fully informed lifestyle choices.

Find out more: www.wcrf-uk.org

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