- Breast Cancer Awareness
The 54-year-old star, who lost her mum Stella to breast cancer in 2005, makes no apologies for the stark content of the TV commercials.
Actress Elaine C Smith was moved to tears by her latest role – fronting a hard-hitting breast cancer awareness campaign. Elaine stars in groundbreaking television adverts which are the first in the UK to show pictures of real women’s breasts with visible signs of cancer.
And the 54-year-old star, who lost her mum Stella to breast cancer in 2005, makes no apologies for their stark content.
She said yesterday: “It did take a lot out of me and after filming, I burst into tears, knowing that if my mum had seen it, she might still be here today. “I think the advert is shocking and some people won’t like it. But, for me, doing it was a no-brainer.”
The adverts, which will be shown after the 9pm watershed, feature Elaine, apparently naked, holding placards in front of her body.
Each placard shows a different symptom of breast cancer to reinforce the campaign’s message that lumps are not the only sign that something could be wrong. The adverts are part of a £30million Scottish Government initiative which aims to increase the number of cases of cancer detected early by 25 per cent.
Former Rab C Nesbitt star Elaine, who previously stripped off for the stage play Calendar Girls, says the hard-hitting nature of the ads drives the vital message home.
She said: “For some, the campaign might be shocking but as far as I’m concerned, if this saves one life, it is absolutely worth it.
“For too many years, women have been confused and scared about what to look for.
“This campaign should help inform people about some of the signs related to breast cancer and encourage them to seek help.
“I am proud that this campaign will help to educate and inform women and men because increased awareness will save lives.”
She added: “Having lost my own mum to breast cancer, I know that if she had seen this campaign, she would have known what she was looking for and perhaps visited the doctor and been checked much earlier.”
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that the adverts take a “bold approach which has not been used before”.
She added: “Women can often be confused about what to look for and it is important that we get the message across that it’s not just lumps that can be a sign of breast cancer.
“I hope that this drive will get people talking about breast cancer and encourage people to become more aware of the signs and symptoms.
“The earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance it can be treated successfully and that is why it is so important that women know how to spot the signs of breast cancer early on.”
Sturgeon went on: “More lives can be saved in Scotland through earlier detection, as the cancer can be treated.”
The launch of the campaign follows an announcement this week that an additional £12million is being invested in upgrading breast screening equipment across Scotland.
The money will be invested in replacing old-fashioned analogue machines with digital units over the next three years.
Audrey Birt, chairwoman of the Scottish Cancer Coalition and Scotland director of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, is supporting the project. She said: “We very much welcome this initiative. Detecting breast cancer early improves the chances of successful treatment so it’s important to be breast aware.
“This simply means knowing what your breasts look and feel like normally, being on the lookout for any unusual changes and getting them checked out by your doctor.
“Lumps are vital to look out for but there are other important signs such as changes to size, shape, texture and discharge.”
Source: Scottish Daily Record
Also reported by BuzzFeed and (with video) The Scotsman and many more
- STV Appeal: Elaine C Smith joins fight against poverty
But during her emotional day in the editor’s chair, Elaine explained that the whole country has to roll up its sleeves to tackle the problem of childhood poverty.
Wiping back tears after watching The Big Launch, she said: “We can’t just go ‘they can do it’. All too often, in Scotland, we’ve suffered from that, saying ‘oh well, social workers can do it’.
“Child poverty is unbelievable in this day and age that it’s going on. I have two daughters and I’d hate the thought of them having to live their lives like some of these kids do.”
She urged everyone to get behind the STV Appeal, particularly as the Scottish Government has agreed to match the money raised from the public.
Elaine added: “We can all get depressed, but this [The STV Appeal] is about hope and care.”
Source (with video) STV