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National broadcasters to host cancer debate

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You, Me and the Big C podcast presenters: (l-r) Deborah James, Rachael Bland and Lauren Mahon

You, Me and the Big C presenters honour former co-host with free UCLan Burnley event

National broadcasters from a multi award-winning podcast are hosting a free cancer debate in Burnley to honour their former presenter.

Cancer survivors* Deborah James and Lauren Mahon, from the BBC Radio 5 Live podcast ‘You, Me and the Big C,’ will question a panel of local health experts in memory of journalist Rachael Bland, who died from breast cancer in September last year at the age of 40.

Rachael completed her postgraduate diploma in broadcast journalism at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in 2001 and this ‘Question Health’ debate has been organised by the University in response to Rachael’s passing.

The experts will discuss and debate some of the key issues of the day: prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, living with cancer and palliative care.

It will be a similar format to BBC’s Question Time and will take place at 6.00pm on Wednesday 6 February in the Sports Hall at UCLan’s Victoria Mill.

Professor Cathy Jackson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Clinical and Biomedical Sciences, said: “Almost all of us know people whose lives have been affected by cancer, but the good news is that survival rates have been continually improving thanks to better screening and treatments. Now, more than half of all patients diagnosed with cancer go on to live for more than 10 years.

“This free event is building on the success of a similar event we did last year, which focused on mental health, and is a great opportunity for members of the public from throughout Lancashire to come along and find out more information about cancer and to ask questions to some of the region’s cancer experts.”

The event will be recorded by UCLan students and staff from the University's television, media, continuing drama and film production courses, with the plan for it to be screened on television at a later date.

Members of the public can register to attend and ask questions online.

*Deborah was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer at the age of 35 and Lauren, age 31, is in remission from stage 3 breast cancer.

Rachel Atkinson | 15 January 2019