Written by Kim Cordell | Product Development Administrator, European Medical Journal | @EMJ_Kim
As May draws to a close, the European Medical Journal (EMJ) looks back at the awareness campaigns we have supported this month, including Make May Purple, World Ovarian Cancer Day, Sun Awareness Week, and World Lupus Day.
Hosted by the Stroke Association, Make May Purple provides an opportunity for members of the public to show their support for those who have been affected by stroke throughout the month of May. With >1 million people recovering from the effects of stroke in the UK and this number continuing to rise, this annual awareness campaign encourages people to invest in research which “will help to save lives and enable stroke survivors to make the best possible recovery,”1 thus leading to a better quality of life.
First launched in 2013, 8th May is World Ovarian Cancer Day, where ovarian cancer organisations from around the world come together to educate communities about the disease and its symptoms. With data showing that just 45% of women with ovarian cancer are likely to survive for 5 years compared to ≤89% of women with breast cancer,2 we must recognise the importance of raising awareness about the disease especially because symptoms can often be confused with those of other less severe illnesses.3
This month has also seen Sun Awareness Week, which ran from 8th–14th May. To encourage the public to be more aware of sun damage, the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) released results of a survey showing that “eight out of ten people are failing to adequately apply sunscreen before going out in the sun.”4 Although the public are now aware of the connection between sunburn and skin cancer, the BAD uses this annual campaign to educate individuals about safe sun habits to prevent us from putting ourselves at risk.
Finally, we come to World Lupus Day, which was held this year on the 10th May. Sponsored by the World Lupus Federation (WLF), this day works to build awareness and understanding of lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body, in addition to advocating on behalf of those living with the disease. With a Twitter survey suggesting that most people have serious misconceptions of the condition,5 World Lupus Day shines a light on the impact that lupus has on patients around the world, focussing on the need to improve healthcare services, raise awareness, and increase research into the causes of and cure for lupus.
- Stroke Association. What is Make May Purple for Stroke? 2017. Available at: https://www.stroke.org.uk/fundraising/make-may-purple. Last accessed: 4th May 2017.
- World Ovarian Cancer Day. World Ovarian Cancer Day 2017 – May 8th. Available at: http://ovariancancerday.org/. Last accessed: 4th May 2017.
- World Ovarian Cancer Day. About Ovarian Cancer. Available at: http://ovariancancerday.org/en/about-ovarian/. Last accessed: 4th May 2017.
- British Association of Dermatologists. Brits’ slapdash approach to sunscreen putting lives at risk. Available at: http://www.bad.org.uk/News.aspx?sitesectionid=154&sitesectiontitle=Press+Releases&q=Eight%20out%20of%20ten%20people%20are%20failing%20to%20adequately%20apply%20sunscreen%20before%20going%20out%20in%20the%20sun,%20according%20to%20a%20survey%20carried%20out%20by%20the%20British%20Association%20of%20Dermatologists%20to%20mark%20Sun%20Awareness%20Week%20(9th-15th%20May).&range=Eight%20out%20of%20ten%20people%20are%20failing%20to%20adequately%20apply%20sunscreen%20before%20going%20out%20in%20the%20sun%2c%20according%20to%20a%20survey%20carried%20out%20by%20the%20British%20Association%20of%20Dermatologists%20to%20mark%20Sun%20Awareness%20Week%20%289th-15th%20May%29.&l=0. Last accessed: 4th May 2017.
- World Lupus Day. World Lupus Day 2017. Available at: http://www.worldlupusday.org/. Last accessed: 4th May 2017.