‘Don’t Get Scared, Get Checked’

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The benefits of finding cancer early will be highlighted to shoppers in Grampian over the next two weeks as the Detect Cancer Early tour kicks off at ASDA Aberdeen Beach tomorrow (Wednesday 21 October).

The 52-date national tour is focused on raising awareness of the importance of screening and the potential signs and symptoms of bowel, breast and lung cancer, in a bid to encourage more people to get checked at the earliest stage and save more lives.

The Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early programme aims to increase the proportion of people diagnosed and treated in the first stage of breast, bowel and lung cancer by 25 per cent by the end of 2015.

Around 1,000 deaths could be avoided each year in Scotland if cancer survival matched the best in Europe1. Early detection is key – the earlier cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.

Statistics show that the likelihood of surviving breast cancer is five times higher if detected at an early stage compared to a late stage2, 14 times higher for bowel cancer3 and 20 times higher for lung cancer4.

The ‘Don’t Get Scared, Get Checked’ call comes as recent research shows that fear is a key barrier to people presenting with potential signs or symptoms and taking part in screening5.  This can often result in later stage diagnoses, when the chance of survival is lower.

The roadshow team will be on hand to provide tailored information to visitors at the stand – depending on their age and gender – while encouraging them to act sooner rather than later if they have any worries or concerns about themselves or a loved one.

Dr Richard Herriot, NHS Grampian Cancer Strategy Group Chair, said:

“More people are surviving cancer than ever before partly thanks to earlier detection.  It is essential that people realise acting sooner rather than later can make all the difference to the chances of survival and, in some cases, even cure.

“It is important to know your body and what is normal for you – which will make it easier to spot any changes, particularly if unusual or persistent.

“If you do spot something, don’t worry, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer. It may well be nothing to worry about but, either way, it’s best to get checked and better sooner rather than later.”

The Detect Cancer Early tour forms part of the national effort to turn the Big C into the wee c by changing the way cancer is viewed in Scotland.  The tour will kick off during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and will be out during both Lung and Bowel Cancer Awareness months – the three most common cancers in Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Shona Robison said:

“Raising awareness of the importance of finding cancer early is vital to increasing survival rates, which is why we’re taking the ‘don’t get scared, get checked’ message out on the road and speaking to communities across Scotland.

“I’d urge anyone who is worried or has a concern to see their GP and take part in screening when invited.   The earlier you come forward, the better.  It could save your life.”

For further information, visit www.getcheckedearly.org

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