Regional cancer awareness push

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Find Cancer Early regional champions Derek Chapman with David and Chris Bolt.
Camera IconFind Cancer Early regional champions Derek Chapman with David and Chris Bolt. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

Cancer Council WA has launched a new media campaign aimed at motivating regional West Australians to seek medical advice earlier.

Through the council’s Find Cancer Early program the Regional Champions campaign highlights some of the lesser-known symptoms of cancer.

Directed and produced in Bunbury, the campaign includes personal testimonies from regional cancer patients, cancer survivors and those who have lost loved ones to cancer.

Cancer Council WA chief executive Ashley Reid said published Australian research showed that people living in regional Australia were 20-30 per cent more likely to die within five years of a cancer diagnosis than people living in metropolitan areas.

“Previous research in WA shows regional people present at the GP at a later stage because they are less aware of cancer symptoms, more optimistic, more laid back, less willing to seek help and sometimes make excuses for not seeking help, therefore resulting in later stage cancer diagnoses,” Mr Reid said.

“While the Find Cancer Early messages are getting through, there is still a long way to go.”

Donnybrook resident Derek Chapman is one of six regional champions featured in the campaign. “I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 after having problems peeing,” Mr Chapman said.

“My advice for anyone experiencing an unusual symptom would be to make time to get it checked out.

“When you’re out here you can’t muck around. Stop making excuses for symptoms.”

The campaign began on Sunday and will feature in regional media across WA.

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