Together we will beat cancer


This Sunday, our new national advertising campaign gets its first airing. You can see a sneak preview of it here:

The ad is our first national television campaign to feature cancer patients and survivors, and focuses on the emotions and realities of being given a cancer diagnosis.

We’re really keen to hear what you think about it. So please let us know by leaving your comments at the bottom of this post.

About the campaign

The campaign aims to raise awareness about cancer and the work we do to prevent and treat it, and to help us raise funds to keep our vital support flowing to the researchers who need it.

To achieve this, the ad highlights two key facts.


The first is that we’ve come a long way. As we announced today, mortality rates for breast, bowel, and male lung cancer are at their lowest since 1971.

More than nine out of ten men with testicular cancer are now effectively cured.

And now more than three quarters of children with cancer survive, compared with only a quarter back in the 60s.

That’s despite the fact that more than 100,000 people are now diagnosed with these kinds of cancers every year.

This improvement has been possible thanks in no small part to the efforts of the thousands of cancer researchers and doctors who have dedicated their lives to beating the disease. Scientific research into cancer does make a difference – and Cancer Research UK is proud to be leading the way in the fight to beat cancer.

A long way still to go

But the second fact we want to highlight is that there’s still a very long way to go.  For an increasing number of people, a diagnosis of cancer is no longer a death sentence – but more than 155,000 people still lose their lives to the disease every year in the UK alone.

Some types of cancer – for example pancreatic and oesophageal cancers – have seen very little improvement in survival compared to others. Others, like ovarian cancer, are too often diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective.

So we need your support to help us continue our vital work, and to build on the progress we’ve already seen.

Tell us what you think

Cancer is, and probably always will be, a highly emotive issue.  Given how many people – and families – it affects, how could it not be?

So we really want you to let us know what you think about the new campaign on this blog. Our Director of Brand and PR, Carolan Davidge, will personally respond to any queries you raise over the next few weeks.

Your feedback is so valuable to us in shaping the way we communicate and discuss cancer – another vital part of our ongoing work to beat the disease.





Vince, Ferne November 6, 2011

I am sorry but along with few others on here I hate you advert. To the point that I now switch off my TV Box each time it appears…. I find it very disressing, and the last thing I need in my life is to be reminded in this fashion, that just about everyone I loved has fallen prey to Cancer – The thought (presumption) that I do not already contribute, adds insult to injury — I have the guilt-trip already thank you – Now kindly leave my choices with me.

Anonymous November 4, 2011

I think your adverts are unbearably cruel for people who have lost a loved one to cancer. All of your adverts for the past ten years have been a torture, especially the one featuring ‘Fields Of Gold’ depicting families enduring important occasions (first day at school, wedding etc.) without the loved one there, but with echoes of how it might have been. I become very upset just thinking about that advert, which happened to run just as my family lost the person we loved and made it so much harder.

I avoid your adverts like the plague, and in the current one, can only identify with the person left alone and crying on the couch. I think people who have been touched by cancer are more likely to give to charities like yours than those who have not (my family certainly does), so it would be kinder to give us a break from having to see on screen what is endured every day. I don’t think the emotional blackmail is necessary.

Karen September 9, 2010

Am sorry but I have to agree with some…why do cancer adverts have to be utterly heart wrenching! Many many many families have been dealt that horrible blow of having some one diagnosed with cancer..every time I turn on my tv and see these adverts takes me right back to that black depression and the memories of the pain of watching someone I love going through the terrible, painful disease. Why can’t it be factual show us the people that have got through it, through there help and sure mention the ones who don’t! I agree with showing victims of the disease through smoking drinking etc…self inflicted with the aim of trying to stop people damaging and risking their health! Let me know what the cancer charity does…don’t hurt us anymore many of us don’t need to be reminded of the killer and many will quickly turn it off because it’s just to hard!

david felton August 6, 2010

the new add july 2010,Is very hard hitting on my wife who has cancer.Is also very hard hitting on her children they get very upset .. also is very had hitting on a freind who has cancer ,and very very upsetting to her young children …I dont kno any one else with cancer ..BUT I do kno a lot of people who dont have cancer ..And it dose’nt bother them at all infact they don’t even kno what the problem is ,,well they would’nt would they,please dont upset people with cancer ..TARGET THOSE THAT DONT may be shock them into thinking they might get it ,

Martin Hainsworth August 1, 2010

These adverts are nothing more than emotional blackmail.
It’s disgusting, we have just found out that my mother in law’s bowel cancer has moved to her lungs and is now terminal, there is nothing more that can be done for her.
My wife and her brothers and sisters are having a hard enough time dealing with this as it is without feeling sad/upset and bursting into tears every time this advert comes on.

You should be ashamed of yourselves for attempting such a crude attempt at fund raising.

It’s crude, upsetting and should be stopped IMMEDIATELY!

jane ingram July 22, 2010

As a cancer patient I find the current campaign extremely upsetting, not just me but my family find the negative ending extremely depressing,it is difficult enough getting through each day. Maybe the millions of pounds you have spent on these ads could have been put to better use. I hope you take this comment on board and bring these ‘adverts’ to an end as soon as possible.

Swotof July 17, 2010

I am disappointed with your tv ad which mentions cancer recurrence. It would seem this is central to your marketing theme this year as there was also a lady talking live about her recurrence at the Race for Life event I ran this year.

As a survivor of breast cancer myself (5 years in), recurrence is NOT something I want to hear about.

I suspect you’re trying to raise funds by any means but this is not the way forward. If you want my continued support, I suggest you come up with a “Plan B”.

Henry Scowcroft July 14, 2010

For people currently arriving at this post via Google – our 2010 campaign ad is here:

Amanda Goodall June 11, 2010

Iain Mcintosh, I am sorry to hear about Fiona! & I hope she rests in peace and that all your family are well! My Mum was just 5 yrs older than your sister, 46 yrs old and I lost her almost 1 yr ago on 26/07/2009, so this advert was the last campaign she took part in & of that I am extremely proud of her, especially having to say the words “It isn’t a fight we always win”.
This impacted on my message to my Mum that I read out at her funeral. I just hope that all of us can be as strong as she was and have the courage to reach out to others for their help when our time comes, whether we go due to cancer or any other illness or simply of old age!
I wish EVERYONE the best opportuities possible in life and hope that like many of the people who have commented here will Buck their ideas up and pull together through whatever gruelling times may come!

Best Wishes!!! x

Amanda Goodall June 11, 2010

I absolutely love the advert, as it is the only picture I have of my Mum and I get to hear her voice again so she remains fresh in my thoughts! If it wasn’t for this advert I would have nothing to remind me of her! I love you Mum! xxx

Amanda Goodall June 11, 2010

That is my Mum at the end in the blue head scarf! RIP MUM – I Miss you and Love you loads, always will! Forever in my heart and thoughts! xxxx

Joanna March 10, 2010

Advertising campaign very emotional and does the trick, know so many who now are contributing. I myself have an aggressive late stage 3 breast cancer about to have a mastectomy had six months of chemo and just finished, need herceptin for a year not to mention usual radiotherapy. I would love to help the campaign I have two sons who are 11 (going on 111!!) and 17 yrs of age. The youngest has everyone crying he says to me that when he thinks of my cancer he thinks of the words to “aint no mountian high enough” and how we all together will climb this mountain and get to the top. He is designing a mountain in D T in high school. The adverts turn us all to tears and my youngest has said he would like to help too. Great campaign never thought I really didnt understand cancer – when anyone asks me I tell them the real truth always saying if you really dont want to know dont ask. best of luck the adverts have made me realise how much research is so important for cancer in all areas.

Saskia February 3, 2010

I have to say that I agree with Jonathan that this advert made me angry. I have lost several family members to cancer, young people that left behind grieving children and families. £2 per month maybe, could, perhaps, at some point find a cure for this devastating illness. It could also be spent on mosquito nets to help prevent the 1.272 million deaths per year world wide form malaria, or on clean water to prevent the 1.4 million children dying every year from diarrhoea caused by unclean water and poor sanitation. I find all the recent Cancer Research UK adverts manipulative and a little self indulgent, however devastating cancer is, and is to devastating to sufferers and their loved ones, how lucky are we that this is the greatest illness we will have to face in the western world?

melanie December 5, 2009

I’m 25 and i’ve had an abnormal smear result- the progress made in this area makes me realise how lucky i am that cancer research are doing so much to research and carry on testing in this field. But I do worry about the length of time it’s taking to raise the same awareness about male cancers.

And why has nothing been done about the daily mail and their ridiculous articles dissuading people from getting the vaccine?

Meghan November 26, 2009


I just wanted to say i have been through cancer and it is horrible. But you can beat it using cancer reaserch it is great it saves so many lives. Thankyou.


jonathan jarvis October 22, 2009

my father recently was diagnosed with brain caner and it truly is horrible, and i respect everyone who helps to fight it and prevent it.

however this advert, as i see some people have also stated, made me very sad and slightly angry simply because it relived that moment when i had to be told about it and that it was terminal. in fact the whole family was watching tv when in came on so hit all of us hard.

i am a graphic design student and in terms of design of advertising using shock tactics it is a good advert, to much of shock adverts are made to be to shocking to the point when we are just numb to them now.
i am currently in the process of doing my dissertation and have chosen shock tactics because of this advert, and i want to ask ‘shock tactics: who is it really affecting?’ to delve into weather shock tactics are working on the general public anymore due to our desensitization thanks to the media, and if instead they are merely hitting those already affected by the contents’ issues – which is not needed.

so i would love if any of you reading this feel the same as i do, or even an opposing point for me to consider when writing my essay, could get in contact by writing a reply on this wall so that i can gain greater incite into this topic.

thankyou, and my heart goes out to everyone else who is affected by this horrible disease .

Kat Arney October 16, 2009

Hi Pat,
Thanks for sharing your story and for supporting our work. We wish you all the best.


Pat Garratt October 16, 2009

Hye, I first saw your advert the day before I had a lump checked out in my breast in Kings College Hospital, it scared me and strangley enough, the next day, the consultant didnt like my lump and I had an immediate mammogram, scan and biopsy and yes, I was told a week later, it was cancer. It was the most horrible moment of my life. I have since had a lumpectomy, am going through chemo which hopefully finishes Dec 21st and then will have to have a mascectomy and reconstruction. I hope to one day next year to be able to say that I am cured, like the people in your advert. Your advert, terrifying as it is, is heartrending but gets right to the heart.It shows normal people who have gone through hell and come out the other side and that is why people should donate. I have done the Race for Life three times and have now got a little job in my local Cancer Research shop.Its the least I can do and I hope that next year, I can do the Race for Life again

Naomi Pike October 8, 2009

I think this advert really captures the emotions of those diagnosed with cancer. I was diagnosed recently with ovarian cancer and the advert is spot on with how i felt about finding out and having to tell my family members and friend. The advert is also very uplifting and every time i see it i feel positive about my future and hope one day to be a cancer survivor with a story to tell. I dont think the advert is worded incorrectly….cancer is very aggressive and i am currently ‘fighing’ it and will ‘beat’ it!

I am saddened to hear that fiona passed away, my thoughts are with all her friends and family. People dont always beat cancer and it is because of this that the work of cancer research UK is essential. If an advert of this nature encourages people to donate money to them then surely we should be grateful that cancer patients and survivors were willing to share their story.

annette goddard September 27, 2009

I find the advert is incorrectly worded.
‘beat cancer’ is aggressive, brutal, violent not a good thing in it.
The wording should be.
‘together let us heal cancer’. this is caring, gentle, loving, conducive to the good, conducive to health.

Phillip Southern September 17, 2009

I too wish to say how sorry I am to hear Fiona died. I lost my wife to cancer 2.5 years ago, after an 18 month fight. There isn’t a minute that goes past when she is not in my thoughts. Please don’t mourn her passing, celebrate the life you had with her.
Carolan. I would like to say please don’t take it to heart the comments some people are making on the bournemouth echo website. As my Mum always used to say, “you can’t educate pork, don’t bother trying”