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New campaign to promote cancer check-ups

The UK's Department of Health has announced a new campaign to alert people to early signs of cancer and encourage check-ups

The UK's Department of Health (DH) has announced a new campaign to alert people to early signs of cancer and encourage check-ups.

Care Services minister, Paul Burstow, who made the announcement, said: "The NHS is spending at European levels but still not delivering European cancer survival rates. We know that generally the earlier cancer is diagnosed, the better the outlook.

"That's why our campaign will help people to be more alert to the early signs and symptoms of cancer and encourage them to seek medical advice as soon as possible."

The campaign will be split into 59 local campaigns, with each area given a share of £9m. These projects will focus on breast, bowel and lung cancer – the three cancers with the highest death rates in the UK.

A centrally-led campaign will also be undertaken by the DH with promotional activity to raise awareness of bowel cancer symptoms. This will happen in two regions initially, with the potential of a nationwide campaign.

As stated by the DH, early cancer diagnosis increases the chance of successful treatment, with estimates that 10,000 lives could be saved in England each year if survival rates match those of the best in Europe.

Sarah Lyness, executive director of communications and information, Cancer Research UK, said of the project: "Encouraging people to seek help from their doctor if they suspect cancer is the crucial first step in getting a speedy cancer diagnosis. GPs also need to recognise symptoms and refer for diagnosis appropriately and treatment must follow as quickly as possible.

"We hope this campaign will encourage people to get that little niggle checked out. It could save their life."

21st September 2010

From: Healthcare

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