NHS England has launched a new campaign to tackle the fear of cancer. The campaign takes a different approach to detecting cancer early for patients, when it is easier to treat. Rather than raise awareness of cancer symptoms, this campaign aims to tackle the fear of cancer. The campaign will be running across TV, radio and social media.

The key message is that if you think something is wrong it is always better to get checked out to put your mind at rest, or to get treatment that maximises your chances of a good outcome.

The NHS Long Term Plan, launched in 2019, committed the NHS to increasing early detection of cancer so that three quarters (75%) of cancers were detected at stages 1 and 2 by 2028. This makes cancer easier to treat.

Latest figures from the NHS show that the number of people who go to their doctor to get checked for cancer has increased by over half a million (512,110) in one year between December 2020 and December 2021.

Not all the symptoms of cancer are easy to spot. The NHS is encouraging people to contact their GP practice if they experience any of the below symptoms:

  • Tummy trouble, such as discomfort or diarrhoea for three weeks or more;
  • Blood in your pee – even just once;
  • Unexpected or unexplained bleeding;
  • Unexplained pain that lasts three weeks or more;
  •  An unexplained lump; or
  • A cough for three weeks or more (that isn’t COVID-19).

Other signs and symptoms to prompt you to contact your GP if experienced for three weeks or more include:

  • Unexplained weight loss;
  • Feeling tired and unwell and not sure why;
  • Heartburn or indigestion, or
  • Unusual, pale or greasy poo.

Read the NHS press release here