A successful awareness campaign developed by Cancer Council WA and the University of Western Australia targeting people in regional WA will hit television screens again this year.
Called Find Cancer Early, the two-phase campaign ran from 2011 to 2015 and was designed to educate people aged 40 years and over on the symptoms of the five most common cancers in WA - bowel, lung, prostate, breast and skin cancer - and encourage them to speak to a doctor.
A post-campaign evaluation of the campaign was conducted by Curtin University last year and results showed a significant increase in public awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and that people were encouraged to seek help from a doctor.
Cancer Council WA's Education and Research Services Manager Cassandra Clayforth said the report showed the campaign worked and running it again would help to improve the cancer outcomes for rural West Australians.
"People living in regional areas are more likely to die within 5 years of a cancer diagnosis than people in metro areas, so the positive results we've seen already will hopefully continue with the next round of the campaign," she said.
Ms Clayforth said finding cancer early was important because it meant treatment had a higher chance of being successful.
"Ignoring the warning signs and allowing the cancer to spread can make treatment more difficult and reduce the chances of survival, so the quicker you can react to potential symptoms the better your chance of successful treatment," she said.
Common signs and symptoms of cancer:
• Coughing up blood once off
• A cough or croaky voice
• Becoming more short of breath
• Blood in your pee once off
• Blood in your poo
• Problems going to the toilet
• An unusual pain, lump or swelling anywhere on your body
• Unexplained weight loss
• Changes in a spot on your skin
"If you notice any of the possible signs or symptoms of cancer, speak to your doctor as soon as possible," Ms Clayforth said.
"While it's easy to make excuses about not seeing the doctor, when it comes to finding cancer early you just can't take the risk."
The campaign will air from Sunday 3rd April until Sunday 17th July.
Find out more about the campaign findcancerearly.com.au