Find Cancer Early (FCE) was first developed and delivered by Cancer Council WA in 2011 as part of the Improving Rural Cancer Outcomes (IRCO) partnership project with the Western Australian Department of Health and the University of Western Australia. To read more about the campaign’s history, click here.
Find Cancer Early has been airing early diagnosis television campaigns in regional Western Australia since 2014. The campaigns highlight various cancer symptoms and direct people to tell their doctor if they notice any unusual changes in their body and visit the Find Cancer Early website or call 13 11 20 for further information.
Rural Doctors (2014-2020)
The ‘Rural Doctors’ television advertisement aired across regional WA from 2014 to 2020 and features five real rural doctors. The doctors draw attention to the bathroom being a good place to look for cancer and finding it early, where you have a better chance of doing something about it. Each doctor highlights a different cancer symptom to look out for: blood in your poo, a nagging cough, unusual weight loss, blood in your pee, an unusual lump or swelling in your body, changes in a spot on your skin, or any other changes in your body that are not normal for you.
Research shows people are likely to undergo a health behaviour if their doctor recommends it¹. This advertisement taps into that more authoritative style of delivering information.
Regional Champions (2020-2023)
The ‘Regional Champions’ television advertisements aired across regional WA from 2020 to 2023. They feature personal testimonies ‘champions’ who advise regional people over 40 to not make excuses for symptoms of cancer. They call attention to three lesser-known cancer symptoms from previous campaign evaluation, including looser poo, problems peeing and being short of breath. Champions all live in regional WA and include cancer survivors, cancer patients and those who have lost loved ones to cancer.
These advertisements are delivered by champions because research shows people find personal testimony type messages more memorable².
Version 2 (with more Aboriginal representation)
Give yourself the best chance (2023-ongoing)
The ‘Give yourself the best chance’ television advertisements are currently airing across regional WA until March 2024. They feature personal testimony ‘champions’ who highlight the three most urgent symptoms of cancer (blood in your pee, blood in your poo and coughing up blood). The champions advise people to give themselves the best chance to find cancer early so that treatment is easier, and they can be around longer to do the things they love doing with the people they love (especially friends and family).
These advertisements feature champions again because our campaign evaluations showed our previous champion advertisements were more memorable².
At the ‘Give yourself the best chance’ campaign launch, Damien and Cherie talked about their cancer experience and their motivations for being a part of the campaign.
Damien’s full story at the launch
Cherie’s full story at the launch
How can I help?
Find Cancer Early – Give yourself the best chance campaign toolkit has been developed by Cancer Council WA to extend the reach of the campaign in your community and among your networks, using messages and materials consistent with the campaign. You may wish to use one or all of the supplied materials in this toolkit. You are in the best position to determine which activities will work best in your setting. Cancer Council is also supportive of stakeholders taking advantage of local media strategies to further extend the reach of the campaign. To download the toolkit, please click here.
- Australian Government Department of Health. 2012. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program – 5.4 Communication with health professionals. Review of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (Phase 2) – Final report, part one. 2012. Accessed November 1, 2023. http://www.cancerscreening.gov.au/internet/screening/publishing.nsf/Content/rev-nbcs-prog-pt1~inc-part~health-prof.
- Maxwell-Smith, C. “There were doctors giving advice”: Perceptions of the Find Cancer Early Campaign Message in Regional Western Australians. Cancer Council Cancer Epidemiology Conference, 2022. Unpublished conference presentation.