Nicole Kidman and Simon Cowell are among stars who have lent their support to Breast Cancer Care's first ever major advertising campaign – ‘Support for the woman behind the cancer’ – as the next phase of the campaign is released.

A video, to appear in selected cinemas during March, has been created by M&C Saatchi and The Mill, directed by Julia Fullerton-Batten, using striking imagery to illustrate that behind every breast cancer diagnosis is a real woman with emotional and practical support needs.

“Breast Cancer Care shows that it is possible to feel strong and positive if the right help is available,” said Nicole Kidman, whose mother Janelle has had breast cancer. “It is this unique charity’s combination of support, knowledge and expertise that can make a real difference to someone’s experience of coping with this disease for as long as they may need it. It’s so important that everyone knows they are there to help.”

Simon Cowell, whose mother Julie has also had treatment for the disease, added: “I am always going to lend my support to this cause. The charity does an invaluable job and I hope the new advert raises more awareness.”

Other celebrity backers for the campaign include fashion expert and TV presenter Gok Wan and former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.

“Breast cancer can shatter a woman’s sense of who she is, her self-esteem and self-confidence,” said Gok Wan. “This striking image shows just how important emotional and practical support is for anyone living with the disease and going through treatment in order to emerge feeling strong and positive. If any of you need Breast Cancer Care remember that they are there for you.”

Research by the information and support charity confirms the wide-ranging, long-lasting effects of breast cancer on women’s physical and emotional wellbeing. A survey of 427 women found that in the year after treatment, nearly all (92%) women said they needed information and advice beyond that offered by their hospital consultant, and up to five years after treatment, almost half (45%) said they still thought about their breast cancer every day and nearly two thirds (63%) said their breast cancer still negatively impacts their sex life.

The campaign raises awareness that when breast cancer overshadows everything, Breast Cancer Care is the only charity in its field dedicated to providing round-the-clock emotional and practical support to the person behind the disease – from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. More than 48,000 people are newly diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK, and as incidence increases and statutory provision becomes more pressured, the services Breast Cancer Care offers are more urgently needed than ever.

M&C Saatchi has worked with Breast Cancer Care on a pro-bono basis to develop the impactful creative, and the advert is currently appearing throughout the UK on Clear Channel billboards and outdoor advertising poster sites. Together with M&C Saatchi, The Mill, creators of award-winning video projects, have produced the captivating video featuring a woman emerging from a veil of medication, bringing to life the concept. A pro-bono Facebook advertising campaign with Sponsored Stories is also being coordinated by BLiNQ Media to reach thousands of users at www.facebook.com/breastcancercare.

“We are excited to have the support of Nicole Kidman and a host of other celebrities to back this great, innovative advertising campaign by M&C Saatchi that reaches out to the woman behind every breast cancer diagnosis,” said Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care. "We know from supporting thousands of women that it can be all too easy to forget that the treatment of breast cancer isn’t just about a woman’s physical health.

“As anyone who has had or has been close to someone who has had an experience of breast cancer knows, it can have a long-lasting impact on all areas of a woman’s life – from gaining weight through the effects of cancer drugs or losing her hair during chemotherapy, to juggling treatment, a family and a career. And while the focus is on treating the cancer, the distressing emotional effects can often be overlooked or sidelined. We want this campaign to reach as many people as possible.

“At Breast Cancer Care our UK wide services are available to all women, whatever stage of treatment they’re at; in 2010 alone we had 3 million requests for support. And we know how to support the women behind the breast cancer because they’re involved in everything we do: contributing to our publications, participating in our campaigns and helping to raise money for our work.

“Two-thirds (66%) of women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis feel that their friends and family have moved on after a year and they need our support. Breast Cancer Care’s website, online forums, Helpline, publications and information sessions are all there to help them.”

Source: Breast Cancer Care

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