The Cancer Awareness Measures (CAM)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have created a central resources hub for Health Professionals which hosts all of our CRUK resources and further materials to help with managing the pandemic. We are updating the information as guidance changes. There is also a page specifically for patients on our about cancer hub.

Health Professional COVID-19 and Cancer Hub

cam_hero_image

What is the Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM)?

The Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM) is a validated, face-to-face questionnaire designed to measure the public’s awareness of the symptoms and risk factors of cancer as well as the barriers to seeking help. The CAM can be used at national and local levels to monitor awareness over time, compare awareness and attitudes between groups, identify information needs, and monitor the impact of awareness-raising interventions.

CAM data was first collected in 2008 and continued every two years up until 2014. In 2014 the CAM was modified to include additional questions and items and we conducted a trends analysis, comparing data from 2008-2014. We also published a paper on the anticipated barriers to help-seeking. In 2017, we collected data online and face-to-face and compared results to understand differences by data collection method. Based on these results, we moved the CAM survey online in 2019. Only the 2008 version of the CAM has been validated.

As a direct result of the pandemic we’ve further modified the CAM and are collecting data on the following areas:

  • Health behaviours and health behaviour change attempts
  • Actual and hypothetical symptom experience and presentation
  • Barriers and enablers to help-seeking
  • Type of most recent consultation (GP)
  • Cancer awareness - risk factors and signs/symptoms
  • Cervical & bowel screening attendance - past and future intentions
  • Barriers to attending cervical and bowel screening
  • Confidence that it is safe to attend GP/hospital
  • Attitudes towards screening and early diagnosis
  • Cancer information seeking

We aim to compare this data with data collected in 2019 and understand variation by ethnicity and socioeconomic status (in addition to age and gender). We hope to begin sharing these results from January 2021 and will make results available on this webpage. 

This research forms part of the COVID Health and help-seeking behaviour study(link is external) taking place at Cardiff University (PI: Professor Kate Brain).

You do not need to request permission to download the Cancer Awareness Measure or other cancer specific versions of the measure.

Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM)

Bowel Cancer CAM

Breast Cancer CAM

Cervical Cancer CAM

Lung Cancer CAM

Ovarian Cancer CAM

Please note, we have made several modifications to the original CAM. The latest version of the CAM has not been validated but is available on request. 

See the questions included in each generic CAM survey (2008-2020)

Interested in existing CAM data?

Data was first collected in Great Britain in 2008. Further waves of data collection were carried out in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019 and 2020 (UK). Data for 2008, 2014 and 2017 is available to download for research purposes from the UK Data Archive.

We are working to also make data for 2010, 2012 and 2019 available and expect this to be completed by Mach 2021.

The CAM was first developed by Cancer Research UK, University College London, King’s College London and University of Oxford in 2007-8.

The site-specific measures for Breast, Colorectal/Bowel, Cervical, Lung and Ovarian cancer were developed with the support of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action, The Eve Appeal, Ovacome, Target Ovarian Cancer and the Department of Health.

Studies support the validity of the CAMs as measures of cancer awareness in the general population:

Development of a measurement tool to assess public awareness of cancer (British Journal of Cancer 2009)

Validation of a measurement tool to assess awareness of breast cancer (European Journal of Cancer, 2010)

Awareness of colorectal cancer: Measure development and results from a population survey (BMC Cancer, 2011)

Knowledge of lung cancer symptoms and risk factors in the UK: development of a measure and results from a population-based survey (Thorax, 2012)

Ovarian and cervical cancer awareness: development of two validated measurement tools (Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, 2012)

Can I use the Cancer Awareness Measure or any of the cancer specific CAMs?

Yes, you do not require permission to use any of the CAM questionnaires

Can I translate the Cancer Awareness Measure or any of the cancer specific CAMs?

These measures have been written and validated in English and we are not aware of any validated translated measures. We encourage translation of the measures using appropriate methods (such as forward and back translation) and strongly advise that any translated versions are subsequently validated to ensure that the measure is reliable and valid. Translated versions should not use the Cancer Research UK logo and should carry the notice (where relevant):

CAM

This survey instrument (CAM) was developed by Cancer Research UK, University College London, Kings College London, and University of Oxford in 2007-2008. This translated version was developed by [insert institution name here].

Cervical CAM

This survey instrument (the Cervical CAM) was developed by the UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre, in collaboration with the Department of Health Cancer Team and The Eve Appeal, with funding from The Eve Appeal. It forms part of the Cervical Cancer Awareness and Symptoms Initiative (CCASI). It is based on a generic CAM developed by Cancer Research UK, University College London, King’s College London and Oxford University in 2007-08. This translated version was developed by [insert institution name here].

Breast CAM

This survey instrument (the Breast CAM) was developed by Cancer Research UK, King’s College London and University College London in 2009 and validated with the support of Breast Cancer Care and Breakthrough Breast Cancer. It is based on a generic CAM developed by Cancer Research UK, University College London, King’s College London and Oxford University in 2007-08. This translated version was developed by [insert institution name here].

Bowel CAM

This survey instrument (Bowel CAM) was developed by University College London and Cancer Research UK. It is based on a generic CAM  developed by Cancer Research UK, University College London, Kings College London and Oxford University in 2007-08. This translated CAM FAQs 2020 2 version was developed by [insert institution name here].

Lung CAM

This survey instrument (Lung CAM) was developed by University College London and Cancer Research UK. It is based on a generic CAM developed by Cancer Research UK, University College London, Kings College London and Oxford University in 2007-08. This translated
version was developed by [insert institution name here].

Ovarian CAM

This survey instrument (Ovarian CAM) was developed by Ovarian Cancer Action, The Eve Appeal, Ovacome and Target Ovarian Cancer. It is based on a generic CAM developed by Cancer Research UK, University College London, Kings College London and Oxford University in 2007-08. This translated version was developed by [insert institution name here].

Can I adapt the Cancer Awareness Measure or any of the cancer specific CAMs?

It is possible to change the order of the CAM modules. There is one exception to this; closed or prompted questions such as ‘The following may or may not be warning signs for cancer. We are interested in your opinion’, should always be asked after open or unprompted questions such as ‘There are many warning signs and symptoms of cancer. Please name as many as you can think of’. This is because the closed/prompted questions essentially provide the answers to the open/unprompted questions. Taking this into account, it is possible to ask the CAM modules in any order you like. It is also possible to change the ordering of items within modules. You may wish to counterbalance or rotate the order to see if this has any
affect on people’s responses.

You can also ask additional questions alongside the CAM questions. For example, if you’re using the CAM to assess the impact of an intervention you will want to ask some more specific questions about the intervention itself. In doing so, you should consider how these questions could affect the respondent’s response to the CAM. For example, you should avoid asking questions that could increase the participant’s knowledge about cancer.
It may be necessary or appropriate to remove certain questions, but we recommend you don’t remove items within a question e.g. a specific barrier from the barriers question.

Where can I access CAM data which has previously been collected by Cancer Research UK?

Data is available to download for research purposes from the UK Data Archive. We are in the process of archiving our 2019 dataset.

 

Contact Us

Email us for more information or any questions about the CAM

We’re now on twitter.
Join the conversation and follow @CRUKHCPs for news, updates and opinion.

@CRUKHCPs

Last reviewed