In the spotlight… ‘help us, help you’

The third phase of the NHS and Public Health England ‘help us, help you’ campaign launched in February and ran through to May, raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer and encouraging people to contact their GP.

The campaign urged people to get checked if they have had a persistent cough for three weeks or more. It built on earlier phases that raised awareness of general cancer symptoms (Autumn 2020) and abdominal cancer symptoms (November -December 2020).

The lung cancer phase of the campaign was aimed at men and women over the age of 60 as this age group are more at risk of lung cancer, and particularly those from more deprived communities as they are often more reluctant to visit their GP.

The national campaign ran across TV, including catch up TV, radio, PR and social media. In addition, there was targeted activity to reach black and South Asian audiences as well as engagement with healthcare professionals and community organisations. Bespoke and accessible content, such as posters, social media assets and video content in different languages, were also produced.

Early evaluation survey results show a significant increase in the number of people aware that a persistent cough could be a sign of cancer.

A Cancer Campaigns Oversight Group including representatives from the NHS, PHE, and cancer charities, has been constituted to optimise public awareness campaigns to help accelerate pandemic recovery and met for its first meeting in May.

Raising awareness of cancer symptoms and supporting people to come forward is vital. A further phase of the campaign will launch in late summer.

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