Early bird cancer campaign

The Scottish Government’s ‘Be the Early Bird’ campaign reinforces the benefits of finding cancer at an earlier stage when there’s more treatment options available, a greater likelihood of living well after treatment and better news to tell the family.

The campaign is particularly aimed at those aged 40 and over, and urges everyone with persistent symptoms, unusual for them, to contact their GP practice without delay to get checked – this could include unexplained bleeding, unusual lumps, unexplained weight loss or something that doesn’t feel normal for them.

People from across Scotland whose actions resulted in an earlier cancer diagnosis and successful treatment have backed the campaign, sharing their gratitude for the life they now have in a bid to encourage people not to put off getting possible cancer symptoms checked.

Dr Helen Hellewell, Deputy Medical Director, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, said:  “If you notice something persistent that isn’t normal for you, don’t delay making an appointment with your GP practice. 

“In most cases these symptoms will unlikely be due to cancer, but more can be done to treat cancer if it’s found at an earlier stage, so it’s best to get checked.”

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Humza Yousaf said:

“More people are surviving cancer than ever before in Scotland, but finding cancer at an earlier stage remains key. 

“The ‘Be the Early Bird’ campaign has been designed to highlight why an earlier diagnosis can lead to better outcomes, in terms of treatment options and quality of life after treatment, to motivate people to take action rather than put off getting possible cancer symptoms checked.

“If you’ve noticed something that is persistent and doesn’t feel normal for you, your GP practice wants to hear from you. They are there to help.”

Ross MacDuff, Joint National Clinical Lead for Earlier Cancer Diagnosis at the national Centre for Sustainable Delivery (CfSD) said:

“Finding cancer in its earliest stages is really key to maximising treatment options. That’s why it’s so important that anyone who is experiencing persistent symptoms that are unusual for them contacts their GP practice so they can be assessed as soon as possible and referred, if appropriate, to the correct specialist.

“Whether it is you that has possible symptoms, a family member or friend, please don’t put off making an appointment with your GP practice.  If cancer is confirmed earlier, a much wider range of treatment options can be available, and the body can respond better to treatment.”

People can find out more about possible cancer symptoms at getcheckedearly.org.

You can read more on the Detect Cancer Early leaflet from Scottish Government.


For further information contact Smarts – dce@smarts.agency or 07967 503 912