This new campaign’s novel approach focuses on tackling the fear of cancer itself rather than specific symptoms to try to detect cancers early. Its key message, which will run across both traditional and social media, is: if you feel something is wrong, then get checked. The aim of this is to give patients peace of mind or, if something is indeed wrong, the best chance of successful treatment through an early diagnosis.
NHS data has shown that anxiety about cancer is widespread and can have a deeply negative effect upon mental health. In a survey, almost 6 in 10 people said that a cancer diagnosis is their greatest health fear while, worryingly, 42% said that they would either ignore symptoms or seek alternative opinions before going to their GP. However, reassuringly, 9 out of 10 people tested for cancer do not have the disease.
This comes as the NHS Long Term Plan has pledged to increase the number of cancers detected at stage one and two from half to three quarters by 2028. In line with this, cancer checks are already at a record high, data between December 2020 – December 2021 has shown.
NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: “We know that the prospect of a cancer diagnosis can be daunting for people and that is exactly why we are launching this potentially lifesaving campaign – we want to allay people’s fear about cancer and encourage them to get checked without delay.
Click here to read BIVDA’s press release welcoming the launch of the campaign.