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


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 (‘a parallel run’). Based on these results, we moved the CAM survey online in 2019. Only the 2008 version of the CAM has been validated.

Development of the CAM (published)

CAM 2010 report

CAM 2014 report and trends analysis (2008-14)

CAM 2014 barriers to help-seeking (published)

CAM 2017 report

CAM 2017 ‘parallel run’ (published)

Understanding the impact of COVID-19

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 November 2020 and will make results available on this webpage. This research forms part of the COVID Health and help-seeking behaviour study taking place at Cardiff University.

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, in 2014 the CAM was modified; specifically items were added, amended and deleted. This version of the survey has not been validated but is available on request.

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 and 2014.

Data is available to download for research purposes from the UK Data Archive.

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)

Have questions about the CAM?

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.


Last reviewed