GIRLVSCANCER campaign gets candid about cancer and sex

The boundary-breaking campaign shines a light on some of the lesser-known side effects of cancer treatments.

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


‘Cancer won’t be the last thing that f*cks me’. 

A new boundary-breaking campaign from GirlvsCancer speaks candidly about some of the sexual experiences and issues cancer survivors may face.

Half of the population will develop some form of cancer over their lifetime. However, of the women that get cancer, less than a third are given any information about how a diagnosis or the side effects of treatments will affect their sex life.

Launched to coincide with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the new campaign sees GirlvsCancer enlist the help of BBH to raise awareness around the effect cancer can have on intimacy be it physical, mental or emotional.

A ‘fierce as fuck cancer collective’, GirlvsCancer is an inclusive community-led charity for all cancer experiences, collaborating to crush the stigma and create change. The organisation is on a mission to empower anyone dealing with a diagnosis and impact improvements of the cancer experience for all.

The sex-positive campaign is purposefully provocative to thrust the often ignored issue into the spotlight. It aims to normalise cancer and sex as things that can be talked about openly and in relation to one another.

Three hero films directed by Sophia Ray feature women on their journeys rediscovering their sexuality in relation to cancer. They speak about sex after their diagnosis and recovery while exploring their relationships with their bodies and minds.

The films are bold and sensual without being sexually explicit. They present the protagonists as powerful and sexual to challenge audience perceptions of cancer survivors. One film ends with a lip-biting moment to signify pleasure.

The women featured in the films also star in the  out-of-home campaign and all have real life experiences with cancer. The film scripts were written with the help of the women featured to ensure the campaign has authenticity and lived experiences at their  heart. By working closely with the women, the film is able to more accurately reflect the lived experience and provides a raw authenticity that connects with audiences.

Alongside the campaign, a social campaign featuring the work of illustrators Antony Burril, Marylou Faure, Kris Andrew Small, Kelly Anna, Telegramme, RUDE, Adam Hayes and Biff will see artists release their own interpretations of the campaign concept. The art will be featured on GirlvsCancer’s social media.

The aim of the campaign is not only to break down barriers but to ultimately rally for better education and support for women going through cancer. Where medical taboos remain, women are left to tackle issues without proper guidance.

“Sexual wellness should be a part of ongoing routine cancer care, but providing learning resources for healthcare professionals only helps if their patients are empowered to have a conversation about this topic,” says Lauren Mahon, founder of GirlvsCancer.

She continues: “GirlvsCancer heroes the human being attached to the diagnosis and shines a light on the variety of ways that a cancer diagnosis affects lives. BBH’s ‘straight to it’ approach to this topic is certainly going to put it on the agenda and help to make it a less taboo part of cancer treatment and recovery.”

Rooted in authenticity the creative champions the stories of real women to connect with others who need to be seen. By forcing audiences to take note and shining light on a gap in education, GirlvsCancer is able to spark authentic yet difficult conversations.

Related Tags

raising awareness

Agencies Featured