A thought provoking new awareness campaign to help people in Bucks Spot Cancer Sooner has been launched by Cancer Research UK.
Every year, about 44,500 people in the South East are given the devastating news that they have cancer.
But survival for some of the most common types of cancer is known to be more than three times higher when the disease is diagnosed in the earlier stages.
The campaign, which runs throughout November, features a humorous television advert.
Designed to show how easy it is for people to ignore changes in their body while they get on with their busy lives, the ad shows a ‘lump’ in a road gradually getting bigger while office workers, mums, cyclists and road cleaners seem oblivious to the change and the disruption it causes.
Eventually the bump becomes so big that people have to walk around it but, despite this, still ignore it.
Finally, in a poignant moment at the end, one person acknowledges its presence.
The voice over at the end says: “It’s easy to ignore something, especially when we’re busy. But spotting cancer sooner could save your life.”
Striking outdoor poster adverts will also feature in prominent locations throughout the South East, including train stations, roadsides and bus stops.
Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the South East Helen Johnstone said: “The Spot Cancer Sooner campaign encourages people to reflect on their own behaviour and empowers them to be more in touch with what’s normal for their bodies. This means that they will be more likely to notice changes and take action.
“We hope that the television ad will prompt anyone who notices an unusual or persistent change to their body to go and see their GP - even if it doesn’t seem serious.
“There are many possible signs of cancer; it’s not just about lumps. What our new campaign aims to bring home to people is that it’s good to be aware of changes to their bodies and to get them checked out.”
She added: “It may well not be anything serious, in which case getting checked will give peace of mind. But if it does turn out to be cancer, finding it early could make all the difference.
“They can also pick up the phone to one of our Cancer Research UK information nurses and discuss any concerns confidentially.”
One in two people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before.
Survival has doubled since the early 1970s.
Cancer Research UK believes that no one should be diagnosed too late to have treatment that might save their life.
The charity is working in partnership with GPs and other health professionals to help diagnose cancer earlier and pilot new approaches, as well as leading and evaluating awareness campaigns to help people recognise possible symptoms of the disease.
For more information visit www.cruk.org/spotcancersooner or call Cancer Research UK’s information nurses on 0808 800 4040.