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Ronan Keating and Cancer Research UK launch cancer awareness drive

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by Cancer Research UK | News

25 April 2006

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POP ICON Ronan Keating today announced a new initiative, which will see mobile cancer awareness units touring the UK funded by Cancer Research UK working together with the Marie Keating Foundation.

The mobile units will target the general public with cancer prevention information highlighting how to reduce your cancer risk. Each unit will be staffed by a nurse and will visit areas where research has shown there is a greater concentration of lifestyle related cancers.

Ronan Keating, who is fronting the campaign, is urging the UK public to take five minutes and find out more about how to live a healthier life by visiting one of the mobile units when it comes to a town near them.

This new initiative builds on the successful work that has already been carried out in the Republic of Ireland by the Marie Keating Foundation. Ronan Keating and his family established the foundation following their mother’s premature death from breast cancer aged 51 years. Since its launch in 2001, mobile information units and nurses have toured the Republic of Ireland and spoken to over 45,000 people.

Ronan Keating commented: “My mum died eight years ago from cancer and I believe that if she had been more aware of the warning signs she could still be here now. The statistics show that one in three of us will be diagnosed at some stage with cancer. Therefore it’s vital we all know how we can reduce our risk and look after ourselves.

“I hope that these information units will help to raise awareness and encourage people to make small changes that could save their lives.”

A recent survey commissioned by Cancer Research UK, highlighted that less than one sixth (15%) of people knew that physical inactivity increases the risk of cancer. Similarly less than a third (30%) of people appreciated that drinking excess alcohol increases the risk of cancer and only 30% of people realised that having a low fruit and vegetable intake also increases the risk of cancer.

More than 4000 men and women from across the United Kingdom were interviewed in this survey by BMRB to investigate people’s perceptions and knowledge of their cancer risk.

Cancer Research UK’s director of cancer information, Dr Lesley Walker, commented: “Our research shows that there is a knowledge gap and the majority of people are still not clear on how they can reduce their risk of cancer, for example by increasing the amount of exercise that they do or giving up smoking.

“Prevention is definitely better than a cure and by taking this information directly to people and making it more accessible we hope it’ll mean that more people take it on board.”


For media enquiries please contact Susie Rea in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 7061 8479 or, out of hours the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.