On 9 September, the French National Cancer Institute rolled out a new information campaign on the main avoidable risk factors for cancer. The aim is to encourage changes in behaviour that are beneficial to our health. Although we know that almost half of all cancers could be avoided by acting on our behaviour and lifestyle, it is more difficult to act when the benefit is not immediate. In this new campaign, the Institute is therefore focusing on the ability of each of us to project ourselves into tomorrow’s world through the choices we make today. In the TV advert, it addresses the main avoidable risk factors for cancer and illustrates, in a benevolent and non-injunctive manner, the actions to be taken. In addition, and to enable each of us to better understand how these behaviours lead to the development of cancer, the Institute is offering new content on its e-cancer.fr website. TV spots, digital versions and specific content on e-cancer.fr are all opportunities for everyone to get informed and make the right choices for their health right away.
“TO AVOID THE CANCERS OF TOMORROW, IT IS TODAY THAT WE NEED TO ACT”.
Knowing that certain behaviours can have a deleterious effect in the long run does not necessarily trigger a change in our lifestyle. And it is even more complex when it comes to health prevention. Indeed, the benefits of these changes will have a positive outcome many years or even decades later.
How can we promote health-protective lifestyles? How can we convince the French that everyday actions have a positive impact on their health? How can we encourage them to take action? These are all questions that the Institute wanted to ask the French in order to build its new information campaign, encouraging them to break with harmful behaviour and adopt new reflexes.
The results of a qualitative study carried out by the Institute with BVA show that the French have a marked need to know and understand the elements that justify the information given to them, beyond the mere recommendation.
And this need is even more acute in the post-pandemic context, which has exposed them to multiple prevention messages that are sometimes perceived as one-sided. The French are in demand of information enabling them to decide, by themselves, what actions to take in favour of their health. Also, while knowledge can be provided by a third party, taking action is a personal decision for which they do not want an injunction.
INFORMATION, EMOTION AND A CALL TO ACTION: THREE PRINCIPLES THAT HAVE GUIDED THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS NEW CAMPAIGN.
The National Cancer Institute’s new television and digital campaign illustrates the choices we can make on a daily basis to reduce our risk of cancer. Choices that are best made as early as possible to preserve our health. The TV spot is complemented by content available on e-cancer.fr, which addresses the need to better understand how certain behaviours can increase the risk of developing cancer.
Broadcast from 9 September to 9 October, it shows a man in his thirties in his daily activities: an evening with friends, a family lunch, a visit to the store, an outdoor activity. This young man is not alone, he is accompanied each time by an older man, a projection of the man he will be in several decades. Like a “guardian angel”, his “future self” guides him in the daily choices that will have a positive impact on his health.
In the various situations, the older incarnation of the thirty-year-old expresses gratitude to the person he was when he was younger. A young man who, through everyday actions, has taken care of his health by reducing his exposure to avoidable risk factors for cancer.
The advert concludes with the new signature that will henceforth accompany the National Cancer Institute’s primary prevention information campaigns: “To avoid the cancers of tomorrow, it is today that we must act”.
UNDERSTANDING THE LINK BETWEEN OUR DAILY HABITS AND THE RISK OF CANCER: A FIRST STEP TOWARDS BETTER PROTECTION.
In order to promote daily actions that protect our health, it is important to understand the risks caused by our lifestyle habits.
In the case of cancer, we can act on preventable risk factors in our daily lives that have a considerable impact on the development of tumours. By reducing our exposure to these risk factors and adopting healthier behaviours, we could prevent almost half of all cancers each year.
While the deadly impact of tobacco, by far the number one enemy of our health, and excessive alcohol consumption are more widely known, the link between unbalanced diet or lack of physical activity and the development of certain cancers is less obvious to all of us.
In order to promote knowledge of these links and to better understand the issues at stake, we need to go back to the way our body works and more specifically to the way cells work. This is what the National Cancer Institute is proposing in the information system developed around the TV campaign. A single objective: that everyone becomes a player in their own health by reducing their exposure to avoidable risk factors for cancer.
Proportion of cancers linked to the main risk factors
Find more from INSTITUT NATIONAL DU CANCER (France, September 2022)