Cancer will “no longer be a scary word” after a shop to help people detect the warning signs of the disease opened in High Barnet.
The Be Clear on Cancer pop-up shop, in The Spires shopping centre, High Street, was set up to educate the borough how early diagnosis gives people a better chance of survival.
People can walk in to the shop to have their blood pressure tested, as well as their height and weight, to determine whether they are at risk of developing the disease.
Prostate cancer survivors Mark Stevenson and Bob Turner were at the shop at its launch on Thursday to share their experiences.
Mr Stevenson, who was diagnosed in 2009, said: “Most people don’t want to think about cancer - men can become embarrassed about its symptoms, especially prostate cancer.
“But the treatment you get is phenomenal. If you catch it early, you’ve got such a good chance of survival.”
Mr Turner said: “We want to reach out to men - it costs nothing to get tested but it could save your life.”
During the shop’s launch on Thursday, seven people were referred to their doctor for further tests after speaking to nurses.
Greasy foods, alcohol, a lump of fat and even pesticides and are all on display to educate people about what can cause cancer.
The display also includes a baby bottle filled with tar to deter people from smoking during pregnancy.
Nurse Sheila Williams said: “This place could make all the difference. It’s a wonderful, friendly environment and it gets people talking about it.
“We want to show cancer doesn’t have to be a scary word - but it is an important one.”
Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers and MP Mike Freer visited the shop on Friday to find out more about its benefits.
Mr Freer says the matter is close to his heart as he is campaigning for boys to be entitled to HPV vaccinations, which could protect them against oral cancer.
Helena Hart, chairman of the health and wellbeing board, said: “This is an important scheme because 40 per cent of cancers are avoidable by a simple change in lifestyle.
“Giving up smoking, eating more healthily and not having too much alcohol and tackling obesity - even more physical exercise - can make all the difference.”