The Cancer Awareness Measure is a validated set of questions designed to reliably assess awareness of cancer among the general population. The measure includes warning signs, help-seeking, risk factors, cancer and age, most common cancers and NHS screening programmes.

The CAM can be used at national, regional and local levels to monitor/track awareness over time, compare between groups, identify information needs, and monitor the impact of awareness-raising interventions. Ultimately, assessing awareness in this way will help accelerate cancer prevention and early diagnosis.

The CAM was developed to address the lack of a validated measure for awareness of cancer and inconsistencies regarding the best way to measure this.

What does the CAM cover?

The CAM comprises 9 questions with a total of 47 items;

  • Warning signs (10 items)
  • Seeking help (1 item)
  • Barriers to seeking help (11 items)
    • Emotional – embarrassed, scared, worried about what the doctor might find, confidence discussing symptom (4 items)
    • Practical – too busy, too many worries, transport (3 items)
    • Service – wasting time, difficulty making appointment, difficulty talking to doctor (3 items)
    • Other – verbatim (1 item)
  • Risk factors (12 items)
  • Cancer and age (1 item)
  • Most common cancers (6 items)
  • NHS screening programmes (6 items)
    • Knowledge (3 items)
    • Age of first invitation (3 items) Source

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