Cancer is one of the scariest words in the English language. Whether it affects you directly, or your friends and loved ones, it’s always the news that you never want to hear. It’s also news that some people actively seek to avoid, so creating effective healthcare messaging about this most sensitive and important of subjects can be interesting. We’ve created quite a few messages regarding cancer, but here are 5 of the best that don’t shy away from the issues, all aimed at people who haven’t been diagnosed with cancer, but need to know the facts in order to take control of their own healthcare.
1. Cancer Screening – Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
This a general message about cancer screening from the Health Hub in Moorfields Eye Hospital. It’s a simple message that explains which cancers have screening programmes, and hopefully encourages those who see it to find out more about screening in their area and how it all works.
2) Skin cancer – Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
This message from Kingston Hospital is definitely difficult to ignore. It uses graphics from Cancer Research UK and puts the realities of changing marks on your skin ‘in your face’ so to speak. It’s the kind of message that clearly gets important information across to patients and visitors and encourages people to know their skin and recognise changes.
3) Bowel cancer – Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
This is one of the more reassuring of our cancer messages. If you see this message you know that you’re in a hospital that not only has a great track record for caring for people with bowel cancer, but they’re also brilliant at detecting bowel cancer early. Definitely something to put your mind at ease.
4) Cervical screening – Barts Health NHS Trust
Cervical screening is really important. It doesn’t specifically ‘test for cancer’ but it can detect changes in the cervix that can later lead to cancer. It’s important that women know to partake in cervical screening. This message gets a little bit more specific than that – it’s in the HIV clinic at Barts Health and it reminds women with HIV to have a yearly smear, rather than the 3 yearly smear that women without HIV have. An important and potentially lifesaving message that won’t be found in main stream healthcare campaigns.
5) Teenagers with Cancer – Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
This message is slightly different to the others. It’s not about screening or awareness. It’s not even for patients or visitors. It’s for staff. As cancer is such a life changing illness, hospital staff training and support must be an ongoing thing. This message at Sheffield Children’s encourages their staff to partake in a study day to educate them on the specific needs of teenagers who have cancer and how best to support them on their journey.