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Cancer campaigns given £9m cash boost by government

22 September 2010

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Campaigns designed to increase cancer awareness have been given a £9m boost by the government.

More than 120,000 people are affected by bowel, lung and breast cancer every year in the UK, but if symptoms are caught early enough the chances of survival can be high.

The government is pledging £9m in an attempt to bring British survival rates in line with the best in Europe, which estimates have shown could save 10,000 lives every year. The campaigns will encourage people to visit their doctor if they have any concerns.

Health Minister Paul Burstow revealed that funding will support 59 campaigns from January to focus on any one or all three types of cancer, with two pilot studies being conducted to see if a national bowel campaign would be effective.

A successful initiative has already been completed in Doncaster, where a bus stop made a coughing noise to alert people to the dangers of lung cancer.

This led to an increase in the number of people visiting their GPs and the number of cases diagnosed in a month rose by almost 60% compared with the same period the previous year.

Each campaign across the UK will also utilise social marketing to deliver its message, using sites such as Twitter and Facebook to connect with people.

Mr Burstow said: “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.”

Copyright © Press Association 2010