Rear-view shot of a blue bus

NHS bus tour to raise awareness about cancer

In just the latest move in a long line of innovative awareness campaigns seeking to educate and inform the public about various diseases and conditions, the NHS is set to tour a double-decker bus across the country , encouraging people to visit their GP for potentially life-saving cancer checks.

Emblazoned with a striking blue design, the bus will start its journey in Blackburn next Monday before travelling north to Sunderland on Tuesday, followed by a long trip down south through Barnsley, Leicester, and eventually the capital, where it will finish its voyage on Friday.

The announcement comes just before World Cancer Day on Saturday and is part of the NHS’s Help Us, Help You campaign which ultimately aims to boost survival rates by driving early cancer diagnosis and eradicating health disparities.

Such campaigns have led to more people than ever having crucial cancer checks, with over 2.8 million people getting seen last year – an increase of almost 20% compared to the same period before the pandemic.

This in turn has affected the number of people being diagnosed with cancer, with more than 320,000 people receiving treatment between November 2021 and October 2022 – the highest number ever recorded and 8,000 more than the equivalent pre-pandemic period.

National Clinical Director for Cancer, Professor Peter Johnson, said: “We have seen a fantastic response to our Help Us, Help You cancer campaigns so far and are already seeing record levels of people coming forward for cancer checks, with thousands more people starting cancer treatment than in previous years.

“This bus tour is another example of how we are going further in our ambition to diagnose more cancers at an earlier stage than ever before, by engaging directly with people in their own communities as they are going about their daily routines.

“Trained staff will be on hand to discuss any concerns people may have about cancer symptoms and to inform them on what to look out for. It’s vitally important that people are aware of what is normal for their bodies and that when they notice something isn’t right, they feel empowered to come forward.”

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NHE May/June 2024

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