altCancer is a word that no-one likes. Most of us know at least one person that it’s touched and, whilst some are lucky enough to pull through the other side, others aren’t. That’s why spreading awareness about this potentially devastating disease is a top priority for many organisations, including the Know 4 Sure campaign. Campaign volunteers are taking a new approach to help the general public understand the symptoms of different types of cancers, and are targeting bingo halls, shops, and supermarkets in their efforts to get the word out to as many people as possible.

Manchester has been chosen as the first region in the country to run the campaign, and Know 4 Sure has crowned its volunteers ‘cancer champions,’ whose mission it is to get out into the community to talk to people about the disease. According to recent statistics, residents of the Greater Manchester area have a higher risk of contracting cancer and dying than the national average and, according to the NHS, it’s often due to a diagnosis being made too late. The NHS in Greater Manchester wants people to look out for the four key signs of the disease, and make sure they head straight to their GP if they recognise any of the symptoms.

Thanks to the Know 4 Sure campaign, our readers can learn these four warning signs too. They are: 1) unexplained pain that won’t go away; 2) loss of weight which cannot be explained; 3) lumps; 4) the appearance of blood that is unrelated to an obvious injury.

According to doctors, identifying cancer early on makes it easy to treat, and increases the chances of survival. GPs are concerned that many people (particularly the elderly) can put off seeing their doctor, and want to encourage them to get checked out.

The new campaign, which was launched in late January 2013, and runs until the end of March 2013, will see posters appearing in doctor’s surgeries and in pharmacies around the Manchester area. Know 4 Sure volunteers will also be carrying out a bingo hall tour to target those aged 50 and over, who are in the highest risk category. Dr. Rona Cruickshank, who is a consultant and expert in this field, points out that you will never be considered a time-waster for wanting to get your symptoms checked out.

What do you think about the campaign? Would you like to see a similar one in your area? And, do you think targeting bingo halls to spread important healthcare messages is a good idea?