Bowel cancer campaign: Resources and tools

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Be Clear on Cancer logo for bowel campaign

Learning and Development Tools

Visit the CRUK learning and development tools page for further information, resources and tools.

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Resources prepared for the national Bowel cancer reminder campaign, which ran from August to September 2012 are available on this page. 

Briefing sheets are available for the following groups who are essential to the success of the campaign:

NHS Trusts briefing sheet

GPs briefing sheet

GP practice team briefing sheet

Pharmacy teams briefing sheet

Community groups and volunteers briefing sheet

These are  electronic briefings with links to further information. All are print friendly. Please do pass these on to colleagues as appropriate so they can get up to date on the campaign too.

A range of additional Be Clear on Cancer materials have been developed centrally by the Department of Health for bowel cancer, including symptom cards:

Download campaign materials

The public-facing website for the Be Clear on Campaign is NHS Choices and several dedicated campaign webpages have been created on Watch the bowel cancer TV advert and listen to the radio adverts – take a look and refresh your memory of what your patients heard and saw during the campaign.

You can order hard copies of leaflets and posters directly from the Health and Social Care Orderline or call 0300 123 1002.

Hard copies of accessible versions (e.g. easy read and braille) of the information leaflet can be ordered from by contacting

Translating materials, while important, may not always be the best approach. Be Clear on Cancer materials are written in plain, straightforward English. This is often more accessible for less literate English speakers than complex translated materials. Public Health England have developed a document with guidance on things to consider before translating materials into different languages.

Review guidance on translating 

The Department of Health have developed a PR and communications toolkit to provide information and resources to help NHS Communications Leads and Cancer Networks that want to support the national bowel cancer 'reminder' campaign and ensure more people are aware of the importance of diagnosing bowel cancer early. This edition of the toolkit contains communications advice, facts and stats, key messages and templates for you to use and share with stakeholders, partners and local media. It also includes a campaign timeline to help when planning local communications activities.

Download communications toolkit

The Department of Health's sets out the campaign strategy, implementation and messages. Take a look for more details and information - you can share them with colleagues too.

Download bowel cancer reminder campaign slide pack

In March 2015, the British Journal of Cancer (BJC) published the second NAEDI supplement. The publication showcases a series of papers presenting current evidence on early diagnosis across the patient pathway.

View the full supplement(link is external)

As part of the March 2015 BJC supplement, Moffat et al. (2015) investigated the impact of the Be Clear on Cancer national bowel and lung cancer campaigns. The paper looks at public awareness and GP attendance with symptoms highlighted in the campaigns on samples of the population subgrouped by gender, age and socioeconomic status.

View “The impact of national cancer awareness campaigns for bowel and lung cancer symptoms on sociodemographic inequalities in immediate key symptom awareness and GP attendance(link is external)

Power and Wardle (2015) looked at existing data from the Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM) to examine the impact of the Be Clear on Cancer campaigns on public awareness of key symptoms of lung and bowel cancer and perceived barriers to seeing a doctor.

View Change in public awareness of symptoms and perceived barriers to seeing a doctor following Be Clear on Cancer campaigns in England(link is external)

The Department of Health recently published 'Direct access to diagnostic tests for cancer: best practice referral pathways for general practitioners'. The guidance aims to help GPs in determining which patients would be suitable for direct referral to local services providing the diagnostic tests.

It deals specifically with the circumstances and symptoms that may warrant such referrals and is aimed at health care professionals across primary and secondary care and those who both provide and commission services.

A toolkit developed by Lancashire & South Cumbria Cancer Network. It’s free to access and has a dedicated section on bowel cancer.

If you’re a pharmacist or a member of the pharmacy team and your customer/patient is complaining of the key symptoms or is using an over the counter (OTC) medicine connected to the key symptoms of blood in poo or looser poo, you can ask some key questions. These include how long they’ve been suffering the symptoms or using the OTC medicine and whether they have spoken to their GP. We know that people delay going to see their GP for a variety of reasons. They might be embarrassed, not realise their symptoms are serious or worry about wasting their GP’s time.

Be confident and where relevant, give customers permission to visit their GP. If you feel comfortable tell the customer to mention that their pharmacist sent them. It may be the push they need to get themselves checked out.

If you are a pharmacy counter assistant or member of the pharmacy team, be confident and follow your normal protocol. If you are concerned about a customer and feel uncomfortable talking about cancer, ask your pharmacist to speak to them or, if that isn’t possible, encourage the customer to go to see their GP and get their symptoms checked out. The chances are it’s nothing to worry about, but if it is cancer, it’s better for it to be detected early.

One source of support that can help you with raising the subject of cancer with patients is the British Oncology Pharmacy Association’s E-learning Centre. The centre has training for pharmacists and pharmacy team members about raising awareness of cancer in a pharmacy setting, with a whole module on bowel cancer. This is free to access once you have registered on the website.

Be Clear on Cancer statement

Be Clear on Cancer  is a cancer awareness campaign led by Public Health England, working in partnership with the Department of Health and NHS England. This page contains links to documents that we hope you find useful. Please note however that the views or opinions expressed within those links are not necessarily those of Cancer Research UK.

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