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Bowel cancer campaign launched

by News team

Advertisements to raise awareness of bowel cancer will appear on television, radio and in newspapers in the east and south-west of England for seven weeks from today (31 January) as part of the first Government campaign on the subject.

If successful, the “Be clear on cancer” campaign will be rolled out to the rest of the country.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is supporting the campaign and has written to pharmacists in the pilot areas asking them to display public facing posters and leaflets, and to respond to patient queries that result from the media advertisements.

Up to two posters and 50 leaflets can be ordered free of charge by calling the DoH publications order line on 0300 123 1002. The RPS has also produced guidance on bowel cancer (PDF 111KB) and bowel screening (PDF 3.26MB) to support pharmacists in responding to queries.

Society hopes to prove pharmacy's contribution

A spokeswoman for the RPS said that the pilot will be evaluated and that the RPS hopes to show the contribution pharmacy makes to detecting cancer earlier.

Health minister Paul Burstow said: “No one likes talking about their poo — it’s embarrassing. But if we see something different and tell our GP it could save our life.

“Early diagnosis makes a huge difference to cancer survival rates and bowel cancer is one of the biggest killers. That’s why the ‘Be clear on cancer’ campaign uses simple messages to make people aware of the early signs of bowel cancer and to give them the confidence to talk to their GP about them.”

As well as the two pilots for a national campaign, £9m has been made available to fund 59 local cancer awareness campaigns across 109 primary care trusts. These will be led by the NHS and supported by Cancer Research UK, and will target bowel, lung and breast cancers.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11067377

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