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Campaigns improve cancer symptom awareness, claims BJC

Has shown an increase in GP visits for possible cancer symptoms

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Awareness campaigns have boosted public awareness of lung and bowel cancer symptoms, according to one of a series of papers published in a special edition of the British Journal of Cancer (BJC).

Over six years ago, the National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative (NAEDI) was launched to improve the UK's poorest cancer survival rates.

New research found that the Be Clear on Cancer campaign helped lead to 42% of the public understanding that blood in their stools could be a sign of bowel cancer, up from 27%.

As a consequence from the same campaign, visits to GPs rose by 29% for bowel cancer symptoms and 63% for lung cancer concerns.

Sean Duffy, national cancer director, commented: “Early diagnosis of cancer is absolutely critical to improving survival. Part of this is helping people understand what symptoms to look out for, which is why campaigns like this are so important.”

In other research, it was found that 280 breast cancer deaths could be delayed by more than fives years for women over 75 in England if they were diagnosed at the same stage as women aged between 70 and 74, while 215 melanoma deaths in men and women could be delayed in the same instances.

Publication of the collection of papers precedes NAEDI research conference and summit later this month, brought together by Cancer Research UK, which will bring together researchers, clinicians, patients and policy makers to discuss recent research discoveries, their impact on policy and implication for future early cancer diagnosis.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK's director of early diagnosis, said: “The UK's cancer survival lags behind many other comparable countries, and the stage at which people are diagnosed with the disease plays an important role in this. 

“When cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment is more likely to be successful so it is vital we understand how to speed and improve diagnosis.”

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

5th March 2015

From: Marketing

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