A Barnet shopping centre will feature a ‘get to know cancer’ pop up shop starting on Saturday.

The shop will run in the Spires shopping centre for a three-week period to help increase knowledge of cancer symptoms.

Rates of early cancer diagnosis are poor in London and it is estimated that 1,500 lives could be saved each year if rates equalled the best in Europe.

Barnet Borough Council and the NHS have teamed up to open up the pop up shop, which will be manned by qualified cancer nurses who can offer personal advice and general information on the signs and symptoms of cancer, and how they can reduce their risks.

Dr Andrew Howe, director of public health for Barnet and Harrow, said: “We all know someone who has been diagnosed with this horrible disease.  Talking about cancer can be scary and for some embarrassing and many of us would rather not talk about it at all. This needs to change.

“As a community, we need to face cancer head on because, if caught early enough, there is a good chance that it can be beaten.”