#ECCAM2021 – Launching our National Pilot Campaign to Support More Patients

February 24, 2021

March 1, Digestive Cancers Europe is launching a four-country pilot campaign #CRCBeenThere to attract people living with colorectal cancer to the services of its patient organisations at national level. This is along with its general European Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (ECCAM) campaign to help raise awareness of colorectal cancer.

The national campaign is especially designed to make people with colorectal and other digestive cancers aware of the support available from local patient organisations – and this especially through the taxing times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the byline ‘Talk to us, we’ve been there’ in local languages, posters and videos feature people who are living with CRC. They ‘tell others how to’… organise their lives around their disease and treatment: how to deal with the daily struggles, …how to find strength in numbers…, how to deal with the paperwork for job and insurances.

The campaign features eight inspirational people living with CRC

The campaign has involved the help of people who ‘have been there’. It includes the excellent participation of eight extraordinary people living with colorectal cancer who have been happy to share their stories and encourage others to find the support that only patient organisations can offer. These people have been: Colette and Corinne from France, Angela and Francesco from Italy, Ewelina and Grzegorz from Poland, and Chelo and Nati from Spain. We want to thank them very much for their inspirational input and involvement.

Watch our ‘Talk to us, we’ve been there’ compilation video
Watch Francesco from Italy
Watch Chelo from Spain
Watch Ewelina from Poland
Watch Angela from Italy
Watch Corinne from France
Watch Nati from Spain
Watch Grzegorz from Poland
Watch Colette from France

We would also like to thank our four member organisations: Mon Reseau Cancer Colorectal in France, EuropaColon Italy, EuropaColon Poland and EuropaColon Spain for their unceasing energy in helping to develop the local adaptations of the campaign – we are exceptionally grateful for their involvement.

About the Campaign

The campaign is multifaceted and will reach patients through social media channels, posters in hospital waiting rooms and consultation leaflets to be used by clinicians and nurses. Next to advertising and print work, Digestive Cancers Europe also developed a colorectal cancer navigator app to guide patients throughout their patient journeys, so they can address all aspects of their disease related to: information and support, treatments, communication with their loved ones and the healthcare team, physical and mental well-being, nutrition, social inclusion, work-related matters, financial and practical services. To begin, we are piloting the campaign in France, Italy, Poland and Spain with further roll out to follow after an evaluation period.

“We know that the help and care our organisations provide on a local level to people who are living with cancer can make significant differences to their quality of life and to their health outcomes. We want each of our patient organisations to be acknowledged as valuable members of the healthcare team – giving guidance and information that only patients know – because we’ve been there,” says Digestive Cancers Europe Chair of the Board of Directors and colorectal cancer survivor Dora Constantinides.

Zorana Maravic, Digestive Cancers Europe Acting CEO adds, “Our healthcare systems offer patients a clinical solution to their cancer but outside of this, patients are, more often than not, left to their own devices. The non-clinical aspects such as social integration, physical readiness, health literacy, bureaucracy, psycho-oncology, job-related and money-related topics are outside the realm of the healthcare actors, yet they may significantly influence patient understanding and behaviour, and as such also impact outcomes. There is a great void to be filled and this is where patient organisations step in. This is the value we want to bring through this campaign to those people having to live on a daily basis with the physical and mental burden of cancer – the patients, their families and friends.”

About Colorectal Cancer

Every year, 500,000 citizens in Europe are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 250,000 of them die. Patients who are diagnosed early (stage I), have a 90% chance of survival as compared to only 10% when diagnosed in stage IV. Despite the fact that colorectal cancer evolves slowly, over a period of eight to ten years, the majority of patients are still diagnosed in the late stages III & IV.

Along with their work supporting patients through strengthening the capacity of local organisations, Digestive Cancers Europe actively advocate on a European level for the following in CRC:

  1. Every citizen between 50 and 74 years old should get screened with the latest type of test
  • All citizens should be aware of their family history of colorectal cancer and be tested in a timely manner. All family generalist doctors (GPs) should be aware of their patients’ family history and if colorectal cancer is present, to have patients tested in time 
  • All citizens who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer should be directed to a dedicated colorectal cancer patient organisation
  • All colorectal cancer patients should have access to their Electronic Health Records 

For more information on #ECCAM2021, or either of the campaigns please contact us.

Catie Young

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