Festive season cancer awareness campaign launched

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Although not quite the Oscars, excitement was evident as the NHS Western Isles Detect Cancer Early film was launched in Stornoway on Thursday, December 3rd.

The film, the main feature of the NHS Western Isles’ festive window display at Stornoway Public Library, is aimed at reminding islanders to be aware of cancer signs and symptoms and of the importance of detecting cancer early.

The 11 minute film brings together healthy lifestyle advice and encouragement alongside information on the most common cancers, such as those of breast, lung, bowel and prostate.

Using a range of local scenes, clips and photographs from health promotion events held throughout the Western Isles, the film has been given a truly Hebridean feel.

It also features local stories from those who have stopped smoking as a result of attending the NHS Western Isles Smokefree Hebrides service.

As individuals, families and groups gathered to watch the film after the launch, Dr Maggie Watts, NHS Western Isles Director of Public Health, said: “We must do all that we can to raise awareness and promote the early detection of cancer, as well as support those in need through difficult times.

“Detecting cancer early can make a real difference to your chance of survival. When cancer is detected and diagnosed at an earlier stage, treatment is almost always simpler and more likely to be effective.

“Not knowing the signs and symptoms of cancer can mean that people can wait too long before seeking help, which can delay diagnosis and treatment.

“We hope that this film, by using local images and our own islanders, will create a positive influence to improve the early diagnosis and survival of people with cancer in the Western Isles”.

The film, which is displayed on a continuous loop, is available to view throughout December in the main window of Stornoway Public Library, or via the NHS Western Isles’ social media sites, including Facebook (NHS Western Isles), Twitter (@NHSWI), and its website, http://www.wihb.scot.nhs.uk/

Viewers are also being encouraged to complete the brief survey that accompanies the film online. The survey can be accessed: here

Plans are also underway to distribute the film more widely across the Western Isles for use in public waiting areas to raise awareness of the importance of being cancer aware.

The film has been commissioned by the NHS Western Isles Health Promotion Department in conjunction with local company Wee Studio.

Pictured is the launch event at Stornoway library.