Home News Macmillan launches new advertising campaign to reflect reality of life with cancer

Macmillan launches new advertising campaign to reflect reality of life with cancer


Research shows that people with cancer don’t want to be defined by the disease

Macmillan Cancer Support has launched a new national advertising campaign that shows a different side of living with cancer.

Based on new insight that 85% of people with cancer don’t want to be defined by the disease, Life with Cancer looks at what ordinary life looks like when you’re living with a cancer diagnosis.

The series of adverts will be broadcast across national television and radio from tonight. While they don’t shy away from showing the physical and emotional struggles of a cancer diagnosis, they concentrate on one important, positive message: life with cancer is still life.

The campaign reflects new insights from people living with cancer, who feel ‘normal’ when spending time with their friends and family. The adverts show a series of important relationships and how these don’t change just because you have cancer.

When asked what helps people with cancer feel ‘normal’ when going through treatment:

  • Just over two in five (41%) said spending time with their partner
  • Nearly one in five (18%) said going to the pub with friends
  • Nearly three in ten (28%) said having a meal out
  • A quarter (25%) said day trips with friends or family

Previous Macmillan research has also shown that over two in five (43%) of people with cancer say they couldn’t have coped without the support of their friends.

As one in two people will get cancer at some point in their lives and more and more people are living longer after cancer, Macmillan wants the public to know that support is available for anyone affected by cancer, from the moment a person is diagnosed.

Lynda Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, says:

“Life doesn’t stop just because you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. Seeing friends, supporting family, and finding a way to pay the bills are still important to people, even if you’re living with a terminal diagnosis.

“At Macmillan, we know cancer can affect everything. Your body, your relationships, your finances – everything. But Macmillan is here to help people live life, no matter what. We give people the support they need to hold on to who they are and what’s important, because with the right support, ‘life with cancer’, can still be life.”

James McNaught, 46, from London, was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in 2014. He says:

“When I was diagnosed I wasn’t thinking about life after cancer – I was focused on my treatment, on survival. I got through it by keeping things as normal as possible. Meeting friends for a coffee, going for short walks before the tiredness hit me. You start to appreciate the ordinary things that before you’d taken for granted. When I started to feel better there were milestones in my road to recovery. Getting back on the motorbike was a big one. Now I feel like I’m in control again. You realise life goes on even if you continue to live with the side-effects of your treatment.”

The new campaign follows four years of the charity’s award-winning Not Alone campaign, which draws to a close this month.


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