The TV ad is aimed at boosting participation in Scotland’s bowel screening programme, currently used by half a million people a year — and although that figure is higher than ever, the campaign is targeting those who put off returning their bowel screening kits.
Stats show that the likelihood of surviving bowel cancer is 14 times higher if detected at an early stage, and the home screening test — offered to people aged 50 to 74 — remains an effective way of catching the disease early.
Health secretary Shona Robison said: “The campaign is a tongue-in-cheek way of getting across a serious message — that the home bowel screening test could be a lifesaver.
“It’s positive that participation is rising, but this campaign is focused on encouraging those who have dismissed taking the test or are putting off completing and returning it. We want everyone in Scotland to have the best chance of surviving cancer — and bowel cancer can often be cured, if it’s caught early.”
Sisters Liz McMenemy (64), from Newlands, and Margaret Hill (65), from Waterfoot, play line dancers in the campaign short, alongside Diana McHugh (59), also from Newlands.
They are joined by Kinning Park resident Anne Irvine (50), playing a housewife, and Waterfoot man Harry Morris, as a painter.
Harry — a former policeman now involved in acting and stand up — said: “When I first got the test through the post, I did it and encouraged my brother to do it too. My wife has had cancer so I know the importance of being screened regularly — it’s the best way to find it early.
“I think we’re starting to overcome the embarrassment side of things and realise the benefits of taking the test. I remember hearing someone say that you shouldn’t die of embarrassment and I couldn’t agree with that more.”
Newlands woman Liz added: “I think the message just needs to be out there. People can be put off taking the test, but this advert will get people talking about it.”