Media release

Be Clear on Cancer

Posted: February 4 2011

Picture of a doctor sitting down asking peopole to tell her about symptoms that could be bowel cancerA new campaign encouraging people to ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ is being piloted by the Department of Health in the East of England and the South West from 31 January 2011. Featuring a doctor encouraging people to ‘Just tell me’ if they recognise the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, the campaign aims to raise awareness and encourage people to visit their GP.

The pilot campaign activity will target the over 55s, as this age group has a higher risk of bowel cancer and are more likely to put off going to their GP. It hopes to make them aware of the symptoms that, if they have had them for three weeks or more, they need check with their GP as it might save their life.

The symptoms to look out for are if:

  • they have noticed blood in their poo,
  • or it’s been looser,
  • or they’ve been going to the loo more often than is usual for them.

The campaign also hopes to reassure people that cancer is treatable if it is caught early and that the symptoms are often nothing to worry about. 

In England, bowel cancer is the third most common type of cancer. An estimated 38,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

If bowel cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages, the chances of surviving for a further five years is 90% and a complete cure is usually possible. However, bowel cancer that is diagnosed in its most advanced stage only has a five-year survival rate of 6% and a complete cure is unlikely.

The pilot campaign will use TV, radio and print advertising in the East of England and South West regions, running for seven weeks from the 31st January 2011.

For more information about bowel cancer, visit the NHS choices website

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