One in 2 cancer patients would benefit from radiation therapy (RT). Less than 1 in 3 receive it1. A major reason is the low profile that RT has as an effective cancer treatment. The Faculty of Radiation Oncology, RANZCR initiated a campaign to raise awareness of RT and increase utilization. This campaign is unique in being modality-centric.
Targeting Cancer aims to raise the profile of RT. Its messages are simple: RT is a safe, targeted, sophisticated and highly effective treatment for cancer cure and palliation. Challenging myths, ignorance and fear about RT is key. Ultimately the goal is to increase awareness of RT, ensuring referral and access to treatment are universal.
The campaign involves engaging and educating consumers during decision-making by providing clear, up-to-date information about RT. GPs are targeted as referrers and patient advocates. Cancer research/advocacy group partners are being recruited to support media and government engagement.
Phase 1 involved the creation of a friendly, strong campaign message and brand, Targeting Cancer. An attractive, information-rich website targetingcancer.com.au/co.nz was built around content aimed at consumers (patients, carers, public). The site contains numerous videos featuring real patient and team stories. It also contains specific content for GPs. This site was developed in parallel with traffic/brand-driving activities based on social and traditional media. Phase 2 projects include community service announcements, GP education programs, translation into multiple languages and employment of an Advocacy Officer at RANZCR.
The campaign is meeting objectives. It has reached over 4.6 million readers and watchers via on-line/traditional media including 3 TV features. Over 2,500 unique visitors have spent an average of 7.5 minutes each on the website. Targeting Cancer is mushrooming on social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook and Linked In. The Targeting Cancer campaign is an initiative of major relevance in global cancer control.