Together we will beat cancer


We’ve just launched our new advertising campaign. You can watch it here:

Support us now

There are no actors in the advert. Instead, real cancer survivors and patients talk about the impact Cancer Research UK has had on their lives, while some of the cancer doctors we fund talk about their research.

Our aim is to show the progress we’re making in the fight against cancer, whilst highlighting the need to continue our work. You can find out more about the campaign and how you can support us on our website.

The ad will first be broadcast during Monday night’s Coronation Street, on ITV1 at 8.45pm.

We’d really like to know what you think, so we can continue to improve the way we communicate and discuss cancer. So please do leave your comments in the box below.

If you’d like to know more about the progress we’ve made and the work still to be done please visit


Laura September 24, 2010

I personally do not like this advert. My mum was diagnosed 5 years ago now, and went through absolute hell, still going through injections and treatment now, i feel this advert is very harsh, especially ending the advert with basically ‘the cancer is back’ and that is it!

I realise how much this charity does for people and have fully supported it and many others over the years. The main point of the advert is to shock people and make people aware, which is fantastic.

However,the message that should be promoted should be mainly hope and how money that is raised can help people and maybe change peoples lives for the better. After watching that advert i felt even more worried and panicy about my mums future health than i already was.

Most of the people i have spoken to about this, family and otherwise, agree with my view.

stephen cooke 22 September 4, 2010

i agree with you sarah, its harsh but it needs to be to try and make people aware,… there is help for all patients and the partners of patients because it affects theire life aswell,

sarah harding 38 September 3, 2010

The c word is horrible but people are diagnosed with it every day. I was with breast cancer at the age of 34, my life fell apart but if i wasn’t breast aware by seeing adverts i wouldn’t of reacted so soon. People need to know that any one can get cancer but by people supporting it we can all help each other. The advert is full of facts. Such as “your not on your own” “it can affect any one at any age” “there is support out there” “and that people all over the world help to find more treatments and cures”. its about us all coming together and the advert shows that. I get really upset when i see anything to do with cancer, but its life and needs to be shown. Sorry i’ve gone on a bit but its close to my heart as it is with thousands of other people.

stephen cooke 22 August 26, 2010

i know how people can get upset at the advert but it has to make that impact to show you what its like for cancer patients like me, it is harsh and horrible but with the help of good people we can get through this alot easier, everytime i see something to do with cancer i get upset so i know how people dont like to see it on the tv. but it needs to be shown

stephen cooke 22 August 26, 2010

I think this is a great advert it really hits home what it means, i had stomach cancer and im 22, i am greatfull,to the people who donate money..youre the people who saved my life, Cant thank you enough

Henry Scowcroft August 25, 2010

We’re very sorry to hear that people have been upset by our recent ad. As Carolan said in her comment on July 12, we try to be as sensitive as we can in our advertising and didn’t set out to make an ad that was upsetting, but rather one that showed the reality of cancer.

Anyone going through cancer wants to have hope that there will be a way of treating their cancer successfully, and this is very much the case with Ann, the woman featured at the end of the ad, who has not in any way lost hope and who has received many positive comments following her involvement in the campaign.

Hope, bravery and strength are key themes of the campaign and although Cancer Research UK has given hope to more people through being at the heart of the work that has seen survival rates double over the past forty years, the reality is that there is still much more to be done.

Cancer Research UK

Frances August 20, 2010

The ad starts out positively, showing the great advances that have been made in dealing with cancer and wonderful results achieved. However, as someone who has a loved-one going through this disease at the moment, please spare a thought for present patients. The ending isn’t positive and takes away hope, which is too much to lay on people who are bravely fighting this disease, especially those who have been told “It’s come back”. Please re-think the ending and alter it. It hits those you are trying to help too hard.

M J Clark August 20, 2010

I am behind your advert campaigns and agree that it is important to get a strong message across, but to me this advert is brutal and quite negative. My mum had breast cancer a few years ago. Her experience with treatment and prognosis were highly positive – a side which features occasionally in your adverts but should be far more prominent.

Coming from a small family where cancer has unfortunately featured in our lives with my mum’s diagnosis, this advert takes us back to a place we don’t want to go. You are giving across a message that cancer never goes away, which implies that it’s won! My mum, although losing her hair, lead her life to the full throughout her treatment and didn’t get sick. Her routine was largely the same and she returned to work halfway through.

I realise, unfortuantely, that this is not the case for so many others who have lost people through cancer or suffered it themselves. Many of these people are aware of the brutalities and the need for donations or awareness without this stark, uncompromising message from such a great foundation.

Even people who have not been directly affected by cancer see it is a daunting, terrifying illness, and are aware of these facts. It is a cruel disease, everyone knows, so please don’t disturb viewers with this message. I see my mum visibly distressed by this advert when we would rather see the future as positive as much as it is, as you state, uncertain. As family, it makes us anxious. Even before my mother suffered from the disease I would have felt at a state of unease watching. I find it offputting. Far too little people know the stories of survival – why do we concentrate on the negative?

Sorry to be so negative but stories of survival and triumph can be every bit as touching and effective in your campaign as laying the emotions on thick. As much as I know people who have passed away through this condition, I know an equal amount of people who have gone on for decades stronger than before. We need to raise THAT awareness. Thanks!

lesley phelps August 12, 2010

Having worked in oncology for over twenty years i agree it is hard hitting but i know of patients who have gone through hell and back with major major sugery, chemo and radiotherapy and don’t want to hear that it could all come back. Some patients haven’t got the strength to go thro it all again but would be nice if you could end on a positive note. Keep up the good work.

sharon jones August 7, 2010

At the end of the day, it really doesn`t matter what cancer you have, cancer is cancer whatever part of your body it chooses to infest. Lets find a cure whatever it takes. A cancer survivor.

david felton August 7, 2010

this ad realy hits hard to those with cancer there children are realy very upset by this ad only those who have cancer will realy understand what im saying how distresed the suferers are and there children when they see this ad. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THOSE WITHOUT CANCER DONT GET AFECTED LIKE THIS BY YOUR AD >PLEASE DONT TARGET CANCER SUFERERS >TRY AND TARGET THE WIDER POPULATION>thats why on here theres only cancer suferers talking about it .Your targetting the wrong people. Dave Felton

Chris August 3, 2010

The campaign is a disgrace!

The business of fund raising for charities is a tough one and needs be run as such.

However when a charity like Cancer Research UK takes a decision to raise funds at the expense of the very people it is trying to help, it has lost the plot. Remission is a cause for hope and these hopes should not be dashed by thoughtless ad men.

Hope is a much stonger message than despair – particularly when you are in the middle of a fight against the disease.

I have consistently contributed over the years but will not do so now. My support will go to other cancer charities that target specific conditions and have not let corporate desire replace compassion.

Heather Wilde August 2, 2010

Totally agree with Ali on the 23rd July. My 21yr old son was diagnosed with NHL last November. This morning heralded an important CT scan to see if he is still in remission and if he can return to his golf + college in the USA. He saw your thoughtless new ad last night and consequently had no sleep. Yes we realise that cancer can come back and yes money is important to research but you have disregarded the collateral damage that such a campaign can inflict. My family has poured thousands into Cancer Research over the years. My mother died of ovarian cancer, my best friend of breast cancer. Surely it is those that will be most affected by your current advertising campaign that have poured money into your organisation NOT those who HAVE NOT been affected. Show some sort of understanding of the plight of the hundreds who are most likely to be watching such a wretched advert at that time of night. You might argue that this is the reality but the reality is that your campaign destroys hope for the thousands who have just been given hope of remission

gail mc grenaghan August 1, 2010

thinks this is a really effective ad. think there may be another version though,think I saw one on tv recently with john hartson at the end, am I imagining this? Everyone has had some contact with cancer and this is made evident in the ad. It can affect anyone at any time there are no exceptions.

Derek July 31, 2010

I have recently been treated for cancer at the base of my tongue. I will ” celebrate ” one year next week since being told that treatment was successful.
Your advert , which I saw for the first time tonight , has upset me greatly , the last thing I want to hear is, It’s come back . We all know this is a possiblity , but it’s not nice being reminded on the TV.

Paul July 29, 2010

I mean prostate, not prostrate! For some reason I always type it incorrectly …

Paul July 29, 2010

A good advert but why no mention of prostrate cancer, the most common cancer in men? If anything this advert, and other like it, really, really need to raise awareness of prostrate cancer. An opportunity missed.

Mr Leslie Walker July 29, 2010

I have just seen your email link to your TV add and agree in general to the comments made. But I feel that there is also the need for more awareness to know more about the symptoms especially for ovarian cancer.My wife died from this terrible illness in 2006. Distraught I tried to bring this to people by creating my WebSite that same year to appeal for support for Cancer Research UK by doing a charity cycle ride. I feel let down by the lack of knowledge about this illness by our GP!S. Hoping for a reply to my email address to perhaps form some sort of support and springboard in this line of attack. The following is a little from my “About me” page About 14 years ago my wife Kathleen had breast cancer and got over that all right, but unfortunately she died

earlier this year with an ovarian cancer that came upon her like a thief in the night and took her life on 21st

February 2006. She had been a little below par for sometime at first it seemed to start with a stubborn heavy

cold that then left her with what appeared to be like catarrh symptoms that would just not clear up. She

visited the doctors on and off for something to clear the catarrh, nothing seemed to work and clear it. There

were other slight changes that had happened at different stages she complained of backache for awhile, her

likes and dislikes in food were changing . Some types of salad such as cucumber would upset her stomach,

and there was a loss in energy levels. At some point she began to have stomach discomfort as well, this is

when our GP started to give her pills to treat what he assumed to be stomach ulcers. Needless to say these

also did not make any improvement in her condition. The GP then told us that because Kathleen had had

cancer of the breast several years earlier he thought she should have some chest scans and arranged to have

them carried out. These tests however did not show anything and on the same day as the tests they told us

both that they were OK and gave her the all clear. Well this news seemed to cheer us both up at the time

and gave great relief. Unfortunately her discomfort gradually worsened and a little further down the line

back to the Doctor we went, Kathleen had now completed the course of tablets for stomach ulcers so he told

Kathleen she could safely increase the dosage. I then told the Doctor that as she was having difficulty

eating or drinking and that anything she took would be brought back. (At this point Kathleen’s condition

was deteriorating quite quickly) the Doctor then said he would arrange to have an endoscopy carried out,

that this test would find out the problem but meanwhile to double up on the prescribed tablets, even

though I had told him anything she had tried to swallow would be brought back. How we managed to

survive those days leading up to the Hospital appointment I don’t know for Kathleen could not eat or

drink without bringing it back. On the day of the Hospital appointment Kathleen had to be taken in a

wheelchair to the clinic ward she was so weak. Needless to say Kathleen was admitted on that very same

day to investigate her illness. This was at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary there were many tests carried

out and eventually one of the tests had shown a shadow on her left ovary. Because this now came under the

care of the Derby City Hospital Kathleen was transferred there, where after many more tests and

approximately 5 weeks later Kathleen lost her battle with what was a very aggressive type of cancer. Those

were the worst 5 weeks for myself and our two sons to be there with Kathleen not being able to do anything

to halt her sad deterioration that was taking place day by day. We were there with Kathleen every day in the

latter weeks for they put her in a side ward by herself and very kindly put another bed in there so that one

of us could stay there at night, we alternated my sons and myself, so for almost every second of the day one

of us was there with her to bring any of her needs to the nurses attention. My own personal belief is that

our GP has failed Kathleen by not reading and heeding those earlier warning signs, he has missed the

chance to initiate the appropriate actions for tests that would have identified her illness sooner,

perhaps then, there may have been more time to undergo surgery that could have extended her life. When

the hospital Surgeon had told the family that he thought this to be a cancer my oldest son then used the

internet where it lists many of the early warning symptoms about this illness and he probably now knows

more on the subject than our GP. I honestly believe that if GP’s were not in such an hurry with their 10

minute visiting times and paid more attention during their patients visits, were armed with the updated

knowledge and latest developments in the detection of Cancers then it could I am sure save some lives that

are otherwise lost through ignorance because those symptoms have been detected too late. Sadly this was

the case for my late wife Kathleen, an opportunity missed, surely the doctors should be aware, have to

be aware and be on the lookout for any subtle changes that occur and be ready to act accordingly.

Apparently we in Britain have the worst detection rate

in Europe.

Please click on the link below for supportive information regarding this statement

maria July 28, 2010

Hi,I like the advet it’s great and make people think,unfortunately that is the life. I lost some people close to my heart,one of them was only 4 and I know loads people who had treatment and they are fine now. As well I had scae myself when i had to wait weeks for results.
Next time something about awareness how to self check would be great.

Elizabeth July 26, 2010

Hello, I’m mid way through treatment for primary breast cancer, having recently had chemo and surgery, and awaiting radio. I think this is likely to be an effective ad, and I have worked in public sector advertising for many years so I have a sound enough understanding of how these things work. People will be affected differently by the harsh truth spoken in the ad – that our condition can recur and can be fatal. I can appreciate why some are upset but I hope people who feel this way come in time to focus on how much clinical outcomes have improved owing to the work of CRUK. My aunt died quite quickly in the 1970s with what I have. As things stand, my outlook is good and may get even better over time if effective communications help to raise funds to improve the cutting edge work backed by CRUK.

Vivien Pomfrey MSc July 26, 2010

I am absolutely in favour of medical research and attempts to raise funds for this. However, I wonder whether your donors are aware of the extent to which your organisation wastes money funding pointless research using crude animal ‘models’ of human cancers, which can never accurately mimic human cancer either in its development or its form, or the complex physiology of the human species in which the cancers grow and with which they interact. I am sure that progress would be a great deal faster, and lethal side-effects of drugs greatly reduced, if you followed the lead of more enlightened charities like the Dr Hadwen Trust, Lord Dowding Fund and Humane Research Trust and only funded non-animal, human-relevant research.

Heather McNiven July 26, 2010

I’m assuming that the previous comment came from someone who has never suffered from cancer himself or known a cancer patient. (Either that or he’s totally self-obsessed). I also assume that he hasn’t bothered to read any of the previous comments, because if he had, he’d know that Cancer Research UK receive no public funding for their work and desperately need public support. What do CRUK do, actually? Well here’s a clue: CANCER RESEARCH – without which we’d have no hope at all. If I’m wrong, and he has received treatment for cancer himself, let me ask one thing: how does he think the treatment he received was developed?

Carl July 26, 2010

Why can you not stop asking for money and start offering help. This advert just guilts people into sending money with no clear explanation of what you offer cancer sufferers. Actually what is it you do, do? I mean really?

Axolotl July 24, 2010

The expression on the face of the woman at the end of the ad haunts me… desperately sad.