£9m boost for cancer awareness campaigns

New campaigns aimed at alerting people to signs of cancer will be backed by £9 million of funding, the Government announced today.

Bowel, breast and lung cancer affect more than 120,000 people each year in the UK but chances of survival can be high if the disease is caught early.

Estimates have shown that 10,000 lives could be saved in England each year if survival rates matched the best in Europe.

Health minister Paul Burstow said the £9 million would be available from January for local campaigns aimed at encouraging people to visit their doctor if they have concerns.

A total of 59 campaigns will focus on breast, bowel or lung cancer, or any combination of the three, depending on the target audience in each region.

Two pilot studies will be set up for bowel cancer to see if a national awareness campaign would be effective.

Local areas will use social marketing to get the message across, including social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

One example of a successful campaign comes from Doncaster and involved a bus stop that made a coughing noise.

It led to an increase in the number of people who visited their GP for an X-ray to detect lung cancer.

The number of cases diagnosed in one month also rose by almost 60% (from 32 to 54) compared with the same month in the previous year.

Other data on cancers reveal importance of early diagnosis, with more than 90% of people with bowel cancer living at least five years if they are diagnosed in the early stage compared with 6.6% in the late stage.

Around one in 20 people will get bowel cancer at some point in their life, with more than 38,000 new cases in the UK in 2007 and more than 16,000 deaths.

Around half of people currently survive for five years and about 44% live at least 10 years following diagnosis.

Symptoms can vary but include changes in toilet habit over a four-week period or longer, such as going more often or having diarrhoea.

A key sign is bleeding from the rectum and blood in the stools, but unexplained iron deficiency and unexplained extreme tiredness are also symptoms.

Symptoms of breast cancer include changes to the size and shape of the breasts; and a lump, swelling or thickening in one breast or armpit.

Skin changes can include puckering, dimpling, inflammation or redness of the skin, and there may be changes to the nipple, including rashes or discharge.

Around 46,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK and there are more than 12,000 deaths.

Some 82% of sufferers will be alive after five years and 73% are alive at 10 years.

Lung cancer affects around 40,000 people a year, and kills more than 35,000.

The five-year survival rates are 7% in men and 9% in women, dropping to around 5% a decade after diagnosis.

Lung cancer is so deadly because there are few symptoms in the early stages of the disease, leading to late diagnosis.

Signs include a cough that does not go away after two to three weeks, a long-standing cough that gets worse, or persistent chest infections.

Other symptoms are coughing up blood, unexplained breathlessness that does not go away, and constant tiredness.

People can also lose weight quickly for no apparent reason or suffer chest or shoulder pain.

Mr Burstow said the Government's aim was to save lives and achieve cancer survival rates that were among the best in the world.

"In England we are lagging behind European countries when it comes to the common but big killer cancers such as breast, bowel and lung.

"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."

Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK and Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer, said: "Bowel Cancer is the UK's second biggest cancer killer, yet it is highly treatable if diagnosed early.

"By increasing awareness of the disease and encouraging people to act on their symptoms, these regional and national campaigns have the potential to save thousands of lives."

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Guru Careers: Copywriter / Direct Response Copywriter

    £20k plus sales linked bonus. : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Copywriter to j...

    Recruitment Genius: Accounting Technician

    £17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has bec...

    Guru Careers: 3D Creative Designer

    Up to £26k DOE: Guru Careers: A Junior / Mid-Level 3D Creative Designer is nee...

    Recruitment Genius: Ecommerce Website Digital Marketing Manager - Fashion / Retail

    £40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You'll be joining a truly talen...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen