Health Promotion Fife commissioned research to find out what level of knowledge residents had about the signs and symptoms of breast, bowel & lung cancer. It also assessed their awareness of the national DCE campaign, their understanding of the benefits of screening and what motivates them to pursue or decline screening opportunities.
Amongst other things, the survey has shown that Fifers aged 50 – 74 have a reasonably good recall of the national campaigns, with the exception of the microscope over the toilet which had only 41 % recall. Interestingly, awareness was generally higher amongst those living in more deprived areas. Understanding of what the campaign messages meant was less clear. In particular, for bowel cancer, only 11% explicitly recognised that early signs are difficult to detect, with 31% being unaware that screening is the only accurate method of detection.
A quarter of respondents couldn’t name any of the signs or symptoms of lung cancer without being prompted. 18% of women said they didn’t check their breasts at all – citing ‘forgetfulness’ as the reason. Locally, the results are invaluable as we are able to target communities more specifically with the support and information they need. For example, we can target young working males, as they are less likely to participate in the screening process.
“People are frightened show them positive results”
“The more you see it advertised the better, more awareness”
“At any routine visit to the GP, the message should be given. Good opportunity to take using GP.”
“When they send out kits should be more ‘red alert’ – say ‘you should’ rather than ‘please’.”
By Fiona Lockett, Health Promotion Officer – Cancer
This article was originally published in the SCPN Newsletter Volume 6, Issue 1.
Read the whole issue here: