Cancer Research Campaign dividing opinion

The 2013 Cancer Research UK campaign 'Cancer, we're coming to get you' seems to be dividing opinion - not quite as strongly as love-it-hate-it marmite perhaps, but certainly some people think it's great, while others cringe.

It is probably no great surprise that I am not a fan (of the advert that is, I am of course extremely pro cancer research and without research into cancer treatments I probably wouldn't be here blogging today).

If you haven't seen it, you can watch on youtube as I did earlier after a twitter conversation with a couple of friends who also don't like this ad. Basically it is sticking two fingers up at cancer and saying all these people are going to be fighting cancer.

I get unusually irritated by some of the language surrounding cancer. This advert is part of that really. As if cancer is some kind of sentient being to do battle with. 'Are you scared? You should be'. Yeah, right. Cancer is where normal cells in the body have gone wrong and divide and grow in an uncontrolled manner. It isn't like a bacteria that could be killed off with strong antibiotics or bleach, or even an opposing football team you're playing mind games with.

It is great that Cancer Research UK and others are making significant progress with drugs, treatment and understanding of this disease, but I suspect we are still a long way off preventing the loss of life to cancer. Does it help people to think that they are doing battle with the disease? Why is it a battle?

I think I am now cancer-free (I think therefore I am?). This is not because I have somehow fought the disease well. This is because I was pretty healthy in all other ways, and although it was not caught particularly early the cancer was caught early enough. The course of radiotherapy followed by surgery then chemo were effective treatments. I was lucky.

If you feel empowered by swearing at cancer and saying that you're going to beat it, then great. Whatever works for you - just don't expect me to join in. And I am very glad that people are out raising funds by walking, running, abseiling, and other admirable activities.

Enough of my moaning - I don't even watch ads on TV!

So, whatever has motivated you to do it, thank you for raising funds for cancer research and good luck to all you runners in the Race for Life.


  1. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?





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