Stay abreast of the changes: Government cancer awareness ad uses full-frontal imagery in stark health warningFirst time naked breasts have been shown in UK TV ad, say creators
13:43 GMT, 25 September 2012
Women are often warned about the importance of regularly checking their breasts for signs of cancer.
Now, an advert featuring Elaine C Smith, who played Mary-Doll Nesbitt in Rab C. Nesbitt, has gone one step further.
The public health ad commissioned by the Scottish government is the first in the UK to feature fully exposed breasts, according to its creators.
Scroll down for video
Powerful message: The public service announcement features Elaine C Smith, comedian and former star of the BBC's Rab C Nesbitt
Early symptoms: The full-frontal images are of breasts exhibiting possible warning signs of cancer, such as crusty nipples
It goes beyond the usual message about checking for lumps to show all the different potential symptoms that should prompt women to see their doctor.
These include 'crusty' or inverted nipples, dimpled breasts and 'orange-peel' skin.
Other warning signs are leaking nipples, aching and any change in the shape or size of the breast, the advert explains.
Smith begins by showing pictures of healthy breasts of various shapes and sizes – including post-breastfeeding.
She then goes on to display pictures of breasts that could have cancer.
Famous face: Smith with Gregor Fisher in popular BBC series Rab C. Nesbitt
Little-known symptoms, Smith tells
the viewer, include discharge from the nipples, a rash on or around the
nipple and pain in the breast or armpit.
Created by The Leith Agency, the new ad features a bare-shouldered Smith holding up a series of actual-size photos of breasts over her chest – each exhibiting
different symptoms of breast cancer.
The actress, comedian and BBC sitcom star has a personal interest in the cause
because she lost her own mother to cancer.
The Leith Agency worked with the chief
health officer of Scotland and cancer specialists to create images that
were as accurate as possible depicting the less well known early signs of the disease.
The resulting ad is revealing in all senses of the word.
It could cause some shock to parents concerned about their children's viewing habits, despite only being shown after the 9pm watershed.
The graphic images are currently being shown on popular channels STV, Channel 4 Scotland and Channel 5 Scotland.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, with about 48,000 women diagnosed with the disease in Britain each year.
Most (eight out of 10) are over 50, but younger women, and in rare cases, men, can also get breast cancer.
As the video emphasises, women should see a doctor if they notice any change in the size or shape of one or both breasts.
Watch the breast cancer awareness ad…