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NHS partners with Morrisons in Humber and North Yorkshire to put vital cancer awareness messaging on underwear labels

By Awareness and Early Diagnosis

From today, Morrisons shoppers in Humber and North Yorkshire will find NHS advice on underwear labels urging them to contact their GP practice if they spot potential symptoms of breast or testicular cancer.

The Nutmeg branded underwear featuring NHS advice will be in 240 Morrisons stores nationwide, including in Bridlington, Hull, York, Scarborough, Cleethorpes and Scunthorpe. The labels will first appear in boxer shorts, followed by crop top bras in the coming months.

The NHS guidance will be displayed on the fabric labels alongside the standard sizing and care information. There will also be a QR code on the packaging and tags linking customers through to more detailed information on breast and testicular cancer on the NHS website.

Morrisons is the first UK supermarket to roll out the new labels and this first of its kind partnership for the NHS is the latest move in a significant drive to ensure people are aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

If people notice symptoms that could be cancer, they should contact their GP practice and come forward for checks as early as possible so they can get the all clear or, in some cases, a cancer diagnosis sooner to give them the best chance of surviving the disease.

Symptoms of breast cancer can include a lump or change in the look, shape or feel of one or both breasts, while symptoms of testicular cancer can include painless swelling or a lump in one of the testicles or any change in shape or texture of the testicles.

Customers can scan the QR code on the tags to be linked directly to more detailed information on breast and testicular cancer.

National figures show that 91% of women survive for at least five years if diagnosed at the earliest stage of breast cancer, where the tumour is small (stage one), whereas this reduces to 39% where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (stage four). While nearly all men survive testicular cancer, if the cancer has spread, survival for five years or more can reduce to 65%.

Dr Dan Cottingham, Cancer Research UK GP Lead for Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance, said: “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, and contact their GP practice for checks if concerned.

“Cancer survival is at an all time high survival for both breast and testicular cancers have improved significantly over the last 50 years and we’re seeing more people than ever before diagnosed with cancer at an early stage but we want to continue this progress and this partnership with Morrisons is just one of many ways we are ensuring people are aware of potential cancer symptoms.

“I want to urge everyone to be aware of their own bodies please look out for lumps and bumps or anything else that is unusual for you and get checked out early, it could save your life.”

More people than ever before are being seen and treated by the NHS for cancer in the last year the number of people receiving lifesaving checks for cancer hit nearly three million (2.92m) more than any other year on record. Thanks to extensive NHS campaigns and early diagnosis initiatives, a higher proportion of cancers than ever before were diagnosed at an early stage in the year 2022/2023 – 58% of cancers diagnosed at stage one or two compared to 56% before the pandemic.

The NHS is harnessing the very latest technology and initiatives such as community lung health checks and trials of a blood test that can detect up to 50 cancers before symptoms appear, to diagnose cancer earlier and achieve its goal of diagnosing three quarters of all cancers at stage one or two by 2028.

The NHS is also accelerating the use of innovations like teledermatology for diagnosing skin cancer, which is already seeing some areas double the number of patients seen and speeding up diagnosis and treatment for tens of thousands with skin cancer.

To find your nearest Nutmeg concession please visit, my.morrisons.com/storefinder.

For more information about how NHS England works with partners on national campaigns visit england.nhs.uk/campaign partnerships.

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