Baroness Redfern – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Redfern on 2016-01-21.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to increase awareness of different cancers and their symptoms through media sources, specifically radio, television, and internet advertising; and to encourage people with possible symptoms or concerns to visit their GP.

Lord Prior of Brampton

Public Health England (PHE) runs Be Clear on Cancer campaigns which are designed to raise the public’s awareness of specific cancer symptoms and encourage people with those symptoms to go to the doctor and diagnose cancer at an earlier stage.

Be Clear on Cancer campaigns are tested at a local and regional level and are subject to a comprehensive evaluation process, the results of which are assessed thoroughly before a decision is taken on whether to run campaigns nationally throughout England.

The campaigns run across a range of the media. Television advertising is commonly used as it is shown to be the best way to reach the target audience of people over the age of 50. Radio, press and outdoor advertising are used as supplementary channels, where appropriate for the audience. PHE has recently begun to advertise online, with a particular focus on social media such as Facebook, as audiences are increasingly using these services.

PHE works closely with the Department and NHS England to ensure that healthcare professionals are also targeted with campaign information to encourage earlier diagnoses and referrals.

To date, there have been national campaigns on Lung, Bowel, Bladder and Kidney, Oesophago-gastric cancers and Breast Cancer in older women. The next Be Clear on Cancer campaign will be “Blood in Pee” as a symptom of bladder and kidney cancers.