UK government launches cancer awareness campaign
posted by Research Admin on 1 February 2011
The first ever Government cancer awareness campaign to highlight the early signs and symptoms of bowel cancer has been launched in the UK by Health Minister Paul Burstow.
The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign will initially be piloted in two regions and if successful will be rolled out across the country. Adverts will appear on TV, radio and in newspapers in the East of England and South West for seven weeks from today (Monday 31 January).
Featuring real GPs encouraging patients to talk to them about changes in their poo, the new adverts aim to make people aware of the early signs of bowel cancer and make it easier for them to discuss this with their GP.
More than 90 per cent of people diagnosed with bowel cancer at the early stage survive for at least five years compared with only 6.6 per cent of those diagnosed at the late stage. Ten thousand lives, across all cancers, could be saved each year if England matched the best cancer survival rates in Europe.
Health Minister Paul Burstow said “Early diagnosis makes a huge difference to cancer survival rates and bowel cancer is one of the biggest killers. That’s why the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign uses simple messages to make people aware of the early signs of bowel cancer and to give them the confidence to talk to their GP about them.
“To make sure we get it right, we’re testing this campaign in two regions and, if it works, we’ll roll it out nationally".
As well as the pilots for a national campaign, £9 million has been made available to fund 59 local cancer awareness campaigns led by the NHS and supported by Cancer research UK. These will target the three biggest killers, bowel, lung and breast cancer. Examples of local activity being funded by this campaign include:
- NHS Leeds aims to reduce mortality from lung cancer in people aged over 50 through social marketing and community engagement. For example, they plan to advertise on bus routes in key areas and provide community health professionals with branded items directing people to new services, such as self referral chest X-Ray.
- NHS Brighton and Hove whose one and five year survival rates for colorectal cancer are well below the national average, will raise awareness among a target audience of the fact that a change in bowel habits is a possible sign of colorectal cancer.
- NHS Liverpool has cancer mortality rates (among under 75s) 38 per cent higher than the English average and significant variations exist across the city. Lung, colorectal and breast cancer account for nearly half of all cancer deaths in Liverpool. The aim of the project is to increase earlier presentation of the signs and symptoms of these cancers among prioritised groups through the application of social marketing principles.
For the full text of the press release, see http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/MediaCentre/Pressreleases/DH_123898