Most of us, if not all, have lost family members, friends and loved ones to cancer, and if given the chance to have a word with cancer, well, we’d all have some pretty choice ones to say.
But have you ever wondered what cancer would say to us? Perhaps not, but think about it for a second. While we all want cancer to leave us and our loved ones alone and to go, you know, #@%& itself, what does cancer want from us? It wants us to eat poorly, to smoke, to not exercise and to not get screened. Cancer thrives on all this; indeed, more than two-thirds of all cancer deaths are related to smoking, physical inactivity and poor diet choices. And if cancer could talk to us, it would be begging for us to make poor lifestyle choices.
Considering this, and specifically, what the various forms of cancers would say if more people took steps to stop cancer before it starts, is a new series of PSAs from the Prevent Cancer Foundation, a coalition partner for the Lifetime Network’s original film Five. The movie, which stars Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Alicia Keyes, Penelope Spheeris and Patty Jenkins, tells the story of five unique women and how breast cancer affects their lives. It premiered on Oct. 10 and will air on Lifetime throughout the month of October.
For the series of PSAs, Wicked+ had the honor of lending its creative direction and assembling a superbly talented team that included writer/actor/comedian Ed Crasnick and the Atlanta-based Shadowlight Pictures, which donated all the production, directing, casting and editing for the project. All the actors and actresses that appeared in the PSA campaign donated their time as well.
The series, which includes five :30 spots and a full-length version, are all staged in a support group setting, and it isn’t revealed until the end who these individuals are and exactly who they are talking about. The various cancers, including Breast, Lung, Colon, Prostate, Cervical and Skin, are anxious because Americans are learning about prevention steps like getting medical screenings, eating healthy, exercising, quitting smoking and knowing their family medical histories.
For example, in “Self Examination,” a man named “BC” expresses concern about a “relationship” he’s in because “she’s exercising every day, she’s eating healthy.” “I mean this is not the woman I was attracted to,” he cries out. “I feel like she’s trying to get rid of me,” an emotional BC shares as the camera reveals the sticker on his shirt, which reads: “Hello, My Name Is Breast Cancer.”
The cancers aren’t just expressing discontent with people they are trying to affect, but also with each other. In “Jealous With Envy,” a young woman in the support group confides with a young man that she resents BC. “It’s like he thinks he’s a big celebrity because everybody talks about him. He’s way more popular than I am,” the young woman says as she looks over at BC, who is surrounded by others in the group, hanging on every word he says. “He affects way more people than I do,” she gripes. “Oh come on, I mean you affect over 12,000 people each year,” replies the young man as the camera reveals the young woman’s “Hello My Name is Cervical Cancer” sticker.
You can watch all of the :30 spots below, and look for them to appear throughout the month of October on the Lifetime Network. The extended PSA titled “What Would Cancer Say, If” can be viewed above and here. We welcome you to join our efforts to save lives through prevention and early detection education by sharing “What Would Cancer Say, If” with your friends and family via Twitter, Facebook, email or in person. Simply click on the “share” icon in the upper right hand corner of the video while it plays.
Learn more about the Prevent Cancer Foundation and the great work it is doing to save lives through cancer prevention and early detection at preventcancer.org.