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Action Cancer’s Big Bus is on its way to north Belfast

Action Cancer is bringing its mobile unit, the Big Bus, to north Belfast in June as part of its ongoing tour of the region.

The unit, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will be hosted by Smile Sure Start and located at Duncairn Community Centre, Upper Mervue Street on June 9.

The 18 metre-long articulated vehicle with expanding side pods, houses cancer prevention and early detection services and staff on the unit also provide information about support services.

The mobile clinic, whose main sponsor is retail group SuperValu and its independent retailers, was launched in 2006 to help Action Cancer save lives and support people.

Services provided on the Big Bus, which is fully accessible for people with disabilities by means of a wheelchair lift, include digital breast screening for women aged between 40 and 49 and over 70, and health promotion and MOT health checks for men and women.

Big Bus staff can provide information on complementary therapies and other cancer support services such as counselling, a Listening Ear Service, and support groups, which are available for cancer patients, their carers and families at the charity’s headquarters in Belfast and at other locations.

Action Cancer head of Professional Services, Geraldine Kerr explained why the public should take advantage of the service: “The Big Bus offers a comprehensive regional service for men and women of all ages right on their doorstep and Action Cancer encourages the public to avail of these vital life saving and support services in their community.

“Cancer detection and prevention are crucial with cancer rates set to increase by 54% in the next 20 years.

“The emotional support provided by our services will also help many people coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis themselves or deal with the devastating effects of a family member getting cancer.”

Anyone interested in making an appointment for the Big Bus should telephone Action Cancer in advance on 028 9080 3344.

Appointments will be available from 10am-3pm. Bookings are taken on a first come first served basis as there are a limited number of appointments for all services.

The Big Bus targets areas in Northern Ireland where cancer risk is greatest and where uptake of screening services is low.

Belfast Telegraph