New film to raise awareness of cancer screening

Published: 19 January 2015 at 10:34

Anglia Ruskin academic commissioned by Mayo Clinic to make educational tool.

An award-winning filmmaker from Anglia Ruskin University has secured a £25,000 grant from the world-leading Mayo Clinic to produce a film to educate patients about the importance of colorectal cancer screening.

Colorectal cancer, or bowel cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK, with around 40,000 new cases every year.  Although it is treatable with early diagnosis, it accounts for around 10% of all cancer deaths in the UK, and one in every 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime.

Bafta Award-winning Dr Shreepali Patel, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Production at Anglia Ruskin, has previously worked with the Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge to produce The Golden Window, a film about the complex and emotional world of neonatal intensive care.

The Golden Window employs creative filmmaking techniques and applies them to a healthcare context, examining the benefits of using hypothermia to treat newborn babies at risk of brain damage.

Dr Patel and Dr Rob Toulson, Director of Anglia Ruskin’s Cultures of the Digital Economy (CoDE) research institute, hope to utilise these techniques in the new film in order to encourage the public to engage with the screening process and improve attendance at clinics.

The Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, United States, is recognized as one of the world’s leading medical research hospitals, and the project is the result of a collaboration with Dr Piet de Groen, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic.

After meeting at the Smart Technology based Education and Training (STET) conference, where Dr Patel and Dr Toulson showcased their ideas for education through creative communication and film, Dr de Groen suggested that the pair apply for funding.

Dr Patel said:

“We hope that our film will have a big impact in the medical field as well as educating the general public.”

The documentary footage is due to be shot at the Mayo Clinic later this year and post-production will be completed in Cambridge.