Toilet roll and underwear could soon come with warnings about cancer symptoms under new NHS plan
- The NHS is in talks with supermarkets about putting advice on pants and loo roll
- It plans to improve early diagnosis rates of cervical, bowel and other cancers
Underpants and toilet roll could soon come with warnings about cancer symptoms.
The NHS is in talks with underwear and bathroom tissue manufacturers to give advice on cervical, bowel and other cancers.
It is also speaking with supermarkets about putting advice on underwear labels and lavatory rolls urging people to check for the most common symptoms of cancer.
Among chains in early discussions is Tesco, the Sunday Times reported.
The scheme is part of ideas to improve early diagnosis rates – as cancers caught earlier are easier to treat.
Around 167,000 people in the UK die of cancer each year, with the four most common cancers being prostate, breast, bowel and lung – accounting for around 50 per cent of all diagnose.
The NHS is speaking with supermarkets about putting advice on underwear labels and lavatory rolls urging people to check for the most common symptoms of cancer
Professor Sir Mike Richards, former cancer director at the Department of Health and now chairman of the UK national screening committee, has said that ‘we offer a late diagnosis service in this country and that needs to be tackled urgently’.
An NHS spokesman said: ‘The NHS is always looking to work with external partners to increase awareness and help to save lives around key health conditions.
‘Thanks to the hard work of NHS staff and the impact of public awareness campaigns, more patients than ever before are now being checked and starting treatment for cancer. Last year, more than 2.8 million people received urgent tests for cancer, with over 328,000 starting treatment and a higher proportion than ever being diagnosed at an early stage.’ Other retailers have also been getting on board efforts to alert the public to cancer symptoms.
Marks & Spencer has pledged to introduce guidance on the signs of breast cancer in more than 2,000 of its fitting rooms, and has also agreed to put bowel cancer symptoms on its own lavatory roll packaging – a move inspired by the bowel cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James, who died in June last year.
Andrex will also offer cancer warnings on its lavatory paper packages.
Andrex said ‘vital bowel cancer information’ will be added to 29 million toilet rolls as part of a partnership with charity Bowel Cancer UK.