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Feb 7 2014

Are some cancers better than others?

The Pancreatic Cancer Action charity have today released a new advertising campaign that makes the provocative statement “I wish I had breast cancer”. There intentions are honourable, they are wanting to illustrate the desperately poor cancer survival rates of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when compared to people diagnosed with say, breast, testicular or cervical cancer. But the execution of the message leaves me feeling cold. I find it hard to believe that anyone would wish to have any cancer, even a type that has better treatment outcomes and life expectancy. The lack of authenticity is further exacerbated by the decision to have very stylised images of people, and not to attribute the quote to a named individual. I’d like to know if Pancreatic Cancer Action have robust insights undertaken with a sizeable number of people with pancreatic cancer to really give credence to this dramatic message. Without this, to my mind all cancers are bad cancers, and the message offends rather than enrages.