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PCT Launches First Stage of £Multi- Million Social Marketing Campaign in Wigan
Thursday 21st February, 2008

PCT Launches First Stage of £Multi- Million Social Marketing Campaign in Wigan
New Cancer Chancer website

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust (PCT) is launching the first stage of a multi-million pound social marketing programme, with an innovative campaign to help reduce the number of lives that are lost to cancer in Wigan borough every year.

The campaign follows on from a successful pilot undertaken last year which was led by The Christie in conjunction with local NHS authorities and supporters.

At present – more than 750 lives are lost each year across the Wigan Borough and sadly the early death rate from cancer is higher than the England average.

The campaign ‘Don’t be a Cancer Chancer’ engages with the local community to encourage people over the age of 50, who may delay a visit to their GP, to seek medical attention earlier, if they suspect the first signs of Lung, Breast or Bowel Cancer: a persistent cough, unusual breast lump or rectal bleeding (bleeding bum).

The launch activity will take place at the JJB stadium in Wigan on Thursday 21st February at 1pm, ahead of a four week programme, where more than 100 people will gather to celebrate the start of the campaign which has been supported by many sporting and TV heroes across the North West.

The campaign will be rolled out across Wigan Borough until 21st March, with the support of leading medical specialists and a specially branded ‘Cancer Chancer Battle Bus,’ which is set to visit the communities in eight wards across the borough over the course of the month.

People will be encouraged to drop in and chat about any concerns they may have, or if they would simply like to learn more about the symptoms that they should look out for.

The Bus will be staffed by G.Ps, Hospital Consultants, Specialist Cancer Nurses and Health Trainers and will offer people the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have. No examinations will take place on the vehicle, the advisors will however point them in the direction of their G.P if they feel further action is required.

The bus is aimed at reassuring and informing people that their symptoms may not be cancer however early presentation of anything suspicious to their doctor can provide relief of worry and if proven to be cancer - ultimately save their life.

The battle bus will also be handing out ‘Don’t be a Cancer Chancer bags’ that will include campaign branded toilet roll, Uncle Joe’s mint balls, stickers and lots more.

Marilyn Simpson, Programme Director for Social Marketing at Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust, comments: “This is a truly pioneering public awareness health initiative which we hope raises excellent awareness across the Wigan Borough, spreading the key message that early detection of symptoms could help save hundreds of lives lost to cancer each year. Joining forces with leading, local cancer specialists and having the valuable support of local GPs is key in our drive to spread this important message across our communities.”

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan would like to thank the community for their support in arranging the campaign so far including the JJB stadium and Gala Bingo (with branded bingo dabbers), both who have kindly agreed to offer their support at match days and bingo events.

For information on where the battle bus will be in your area visit www.cancerchancer.com.

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