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The Royal Marsden School

Cancer in the Community e-learning course launched

The Royal Marsden School is launching a free Cancer in the Community e-learning course.

The course is composed of four standalone modules (40–50 minute duration each):


  • Cancer Prevention and Screening
  • Cancer Diagnosis and Staging
  • Cancer Treatments
  • Living With and Beyond Cancer

The materials have been written by clinical specialists and experts at The Royal Marsden School and will enable healthcare professionals of all grades, working in a range of community settings, to broaden their knowledge of key aspects of cancer care.  This work was commissioned by Health Education South London (HESL) and is available nationally. Key features include:

  • Videos and animation to enhance the learning and emphasise key areas
  • Quizzes to embed learning and track progress
  • 'Deeper dive' resources and workbook to enable learners to explore topics in more depth, and to record their own personal learning and reflection
  • Certificate upon completion

This e-learning course will be relevant to all qualified and non-qualified community-based health and social care workers, including community matrons, nursing staff, allied health professionals (including physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and dieticians) and support workers who meet patients with cancer.

Initially, the modules will be available on an open access basis on the e-learning for healthcare website, or you can download the source files from the NHS eLearning Repository to use in your own Learning Management System or Virtual Learning Environment. Alternatively, if you are unable to download from these sources or would like further information, please contact the School.


A number of national guidance and policy documents have highlighted a need to develop cancer services and education. Approximately 1.8 million people in England are currently living with a diagnosis of cancer; this number is increasing by over 3% each year and the total figure will rise to over three million by 2030 (DH Macmillan, 2013). Evidence shows that many cancer survivors have unmet needs particularly at the end of treatment, whilst others are struggling with consequences that could be either avoided or managed (Armes, 2009).

The third annual report of the Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer (DH 2013) highlights that since 2011 some progress has been made in addressing these needs but that more needs to be done. One recommendation from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cancer (APPGC) is that GPs and community staff need more education and support to help them identify cancer signs and symptoms (leading to earlier diagnosis); manage patient on treatment and be able to develop stratified care pathways to improve aftercare.