Answer Cancer has partnered with disability charity Breakthrough UK to produce a short video about the barriers to cancer screening that disabled people face and how these could be tackled. This features interviews with disabled people about their personal experiences.
This follows on from a report produced in 2020 which highlighted some of the multiple barriers faced by disabled people when seeking to access cancer and other screening services, such as pregnancy ultrasounds and eye screening for people with diabetes.
Breakthrough UK is a Manchester based disabled people’s organisation. They are led by disabled people and support other disabled people to work and live independently.
The new video, which can be viewed on YouTube here, aims to give disabled people a voice, whilst also offering practical solutions to the issues that they face. 60% of disabled people have faced issues or barriers when attending screening, ranging from physical barriers relating to accessibility, communication issues, and transport issues.
There is a great disparity of health outcome between disabled and non-disabled people. For example, individuals with learning disabilities have a lower life expectancy of around 14-18 years. Cancer screening is just one area which affects this, with cervical screening rates for women with a learning disability less than half those of the general population.
We hope that this video, along with the report, will help get the message out there that cancer screening is for everyone, and so we need to remove the barriers that prevent some people from taking part.