UK underwear gets cancer warning labels

UK underwear gets cancer warning labels
Source: Pixabay

UK supermarket chain Morrisons said on Monday it had joined forces with the state-run National Health Service to put advice labels on underwear about the early warning signs of breast and testicular cancer.

The initiative comes amid record waiting times for NHS treatment due to a pandemic backlog, repeated doctors’ strikes and long-term difficulties retaining staff.

Morrison’s will initially place the advice labels in boxer shorts in its Nutmeg clothing line, followed by crop-top bras in coming months.

NHS guidance about early symptoms including changes to the look and shape of breasts or painless swellings in testicles will be accompanied by a QR code linking customers to more detailed information on the NHS website.

“This is the first time the whole of the NHS has worked with a national supermarket brand to put health messaging on clothing, with the aim of encouraging thousands more people to be body aware, so they can spot new or unexplained changes that might be cancer symptoms early,” said NHS England‘s national director for cancer Cally Palmer.

The NHS chief said overall cancer survival rate were at an all-time high but stressed that the earlier the disease is detected the higher the chances of successful treatment.

The UK government said last week that cancer treatment targets in England would be streamlined from October with the objective of diagnosing and treating patients’ cancer faster.

The new strategy aims to diagnose 75 percent of people at an early stage.

Some cancer charities welcomed the treatment shake-up but others warned steps still need to be taken to tackle the country’s “current disastrous cancer performance”.

Oncologist Pat Price, co-founder of the #CatchUpWithCancer campaign said the target needed to be 95 percent not 75 percent.

“The only measure that will ‘move the dial’ is the development and implementation of a radical new plan backed up with smart investment in people and kit,” she said.

Research published last month by the Swedish Institute for Health Economics found cancer survival rates in the UK lagged behind those of other European countries.

Royal College of Radiologists president Jeanette Dickson said in June the impact of doctor shortages was being felt across the country and was “affecting the NHS’s “ability to diagnose and treat cancer in a timely manner”.

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