Pharmacy-backed bowel cancer campaign sees awareness success

Clinical A pharmacy-backed campaign has seen awareness of bowel cancer symptoms rise by 6 percentage points in Derbyshire.

A pharmacy-backed campaign has seen awareness of bowel cancer symptoms rise by 6 percentage points in Derbyshire.

Pharmacies handed out leaflets and displayed posters over a four-week period in July. The campaign by Derby City PCT and Derbyshire County PCT also included bus advertising.

Following the campaign 72 per cent of people in Derbyshire could name symptoms of bowel cancer without prompting, compared to 66 per cent before. Over a fifth said they would check for symptoms in the future, according to independent research.

Acting director of public health for NHS Derbyshire Bruce Laurence backed the Department of Health's (DH) decision to roll out a national bowel cancer awareness campaign as "campaigns like this can have a significant impact". The DH's National Awareness and Education Initiative (NAEDI) investment programme provided funding for the Derbyshire campaign.

The national campaign to promote awareness of bowel cancer symptoms will run for eight weeks from the end of January next year, the DH announced in August. It will include television adverts and information sent to GPs.

This follows the success of bowel cancer awareness campaigns in the south-west and east of England, after which the public became more aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer, NHS medical director Bruce Keogh said.

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