awareness and beliefs about cancer in Wales

Population survey of awareness and beliefs about cancer in Wales.


Kate Brain

Dr Kate Brain


The largest Welsh study designed to develop new measures to prevent people who think they may have cancer from delaying seeing their doctor and reducing their chances of survival has been launched.

Researchers from Cardiff University's School of Medicine have joined forces with Tenovus and the Welsh Government as part of the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) - the largest international research study designed to examine the possible causes of international differences in cancer survival (

The study will recruit a random sample of 2000 Welsh men and women aged 50 or over. Using computer-assisted live telephone interviews, the study aims to create the best and most up-to-date evidence of people's awareness of cancer symptoms and their beliefs about cancer.

"Low awareness about cancer is likely to contribute to delays in people going to see their doctor. This can lead to people going to see their doctor for treatment at a more advanced stage", according to Dr Kate Brain from Cardiff University's School of Medicine, who leads the Welsh study. "We need evidence to identify why this is the case. This study will give us that information and help us develop new cancer interventions."

As well as vital information for Wales, the study will contribute to possible causes of international differences in cancer survival rates, and establish the current extent of those differences and identify actions to help improve cancer survival. Similar surveys are planned in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and the rest of the UK.

Dr Brain added: "This is an exciting opportunity for Wales to contribute to the first robust international comparison of cancer awareness and beliefs, and to generate a Welsh evidence base for targeting interventions to address low awareness and negative beliefs about cancer."


Welsh co-investigators include:

Dr Jane Hanson (Cancer Services Coordinating Group),

Dr Richard Neal (Cardiff University School of Medicine, North Wales Clinical School),

Dr Iain J Robbé (Cardiff University School of Medicine),

Mr Chris Roberts (Welsh Government),

Dr John Steward and Dr Ceri White (Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit).


Collaborators in the ICBP central team include:

Dr Lindsay Forbes,

Prof. Amanda Ramirez

Dr Alice Simon

Prof. Jane Wardle