Face Your Fear at Westminster

The Face Your Fear campaign launched on Wednesday 31st October 2018 (Halloween, appropriately!) at Westminster. We invited MPs and journalists to our Face Your Fear virtual reality experience to highlight the importance of early detection.

The page was co-created and funded by AstraZeneca.

The event was sponsored by shadow minister for public health, Sharon Hodgson MP. After engaging with us at our #HeadHigh parliamentary event last November, Sharon has taken up the lung cancer mantle within Parliament. Speaking during the Cancer Strategy debate in February 2018, Sharon highlighted the importance of detecting lung cancer early and the significant impact it could have on survival outcomes.

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP was also in attendance. Having been diagnosed with lung cancer in the New Year, James has completed treatment and is an example of why people should not put off going to the doctor if they have any potential lung cancer symptoms.

Speaking to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation following treatment, James said: "I suppose I could have said ‘no, that’s fine, let’s leave it’. Similarly, I could have said ‘do you know what, I’m just too busy – I’ll go later’ but making time for yourself and your health has to be everyone’s number one priority."

Since his diagnosis, James has spoken openly and at length about his experience. In April 2018, he held a debate in Parliament calling for a national lung cancer screening programme.

James Brokenshire faced his fear
James Brokenshire MP recovering at home following lung cancer surgery

At the Face Your Fear campaign launch event, journalists from across the media were given the opportunity to be the first to step inside the Face Your Fear virtual reality booth. Our VR experience immerses viewers in content that confronts the fear stopping many people from reporting potential lung cancer symptoms.

"This year in the UK, as many as 11,600 people diagnosed with lung cancer might have delayed reporting their symptoms to the doctor because they were scared, potentially missing out on an earlier diagnosis"
Paula Chadwick, CEO of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation explains why this campaign is so important

Diagnosis of lung cancer at an earlier stage is associated with better survival outcomes - new treatments mean people are living well with lung cancer for longer and, if caught early, doctors treat with curative intent. It is crucial that people face their fear and report any concerns to the doctor. Ignoring the symptoms of lung cancer will not stop you having it."

Following the launch event in Westminster, the Face Your Fear VR booth began its month-long tour across the UK, engaging within communities to change the misconceptions around lung cancer and improve awareness and attitudes.

Find your nearest Face Your Fear event and step inside our virtual reality.

GB-14249; Date of Prep: October 2018

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