Scottish Cancer Prevention Network

Cancer Prevention Bursary awarded to Dundee Student


May 16

A Dundee student who carried out a period of elective study exploring the awareness of cervical cancer symptoms and willingness to undergo cervical screening among Punjabi women has been awarded the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network’s first student elective bursary. The bursary aims to support a student undertaking an elective relevant to cancer prevention or screening.

Sharandeep Singh, a final year medical student at the University of Dundee and member of the SCPN student chapter, spent six weeks in a maternity unit in Punjab, India, attending clinics, consulting patients and assisting in surgery for the clinical component of his study, and explored the knowledge that Punjabi women have of cervical cancer, their willingness to undergo screening and the factors that influence this for the research component.

During his elective study Sharandeep was able to develop his research skills, further his interest in obstetrics and gynaecology, and contribute to the development of improved cervical screening programmes and uptake amongst Punjabi women. Speaking of his intentions following graduation next month, Sharandeep said:

Following my experiences of working in Punjab, I am now ready to promote the value of cervical cancer screening for the prevention of the disease in the South Asian community here in Scotland when I go back to Glasgow in August as a qualified doctor. It is a privilege to be awarded the SCPN elective bursary in recognition of my work.

Professor Annie Anderson, Co-Director of the Scottish Cancer Prevention Network said:

It’s the first time the SCPN has recognised a student’s elective work in cancer prevention areas. Sharandeep’s elective is a great example of work which can be continued in a medical career in Scotland. Cervical cancer is still the most common cancer in women under the age of 35 in the UK and efforts like those of Sharandeep go a long way towards combating the disease.

Professor Robert Steele, Co-Director said:

Sharandeep’s work reflects the importance of cancer prevention being integrated into the higher education curriculum. This award is just one clear example of the SCPN supporting efforts which go above and beyond in preventing cancer both at home and abroad.

This is the first award of the bursary which attracted a range of applications including:

  • Exploring the treatment and early detection of head and neck cancers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Center in New York, NY in the United States.
  • Investigating behaviour patterns, namely modifiable factors like diet, plus cultural attitudes towards cancer, and how this can be incorporated into healthcare services suitable for all members of the community, comparing attitudes and demographics across two different towns in Canada.