A major supermarket in Whitefield will sell underwear designed to raise awareness of cancer symptoms. 

Morrisons, on Stanley Road, has collaborated with the NHS to put health advice in its items of underwear about potential warnings of breast and testicular cancer.

The store joins hundreds of others around the country, including in Bolton, Oldham and Rochdale, in stocking the potentially lifesaving garments. 

Product labels for the Nutmeg brand will initially feature in boxer shorts and crop-top bras and will offer information about the signs and symptoms to be aware of.

Available in 240 shops around England in the coming months, the packaging will also contain a QR code linking to the NHS website for more detailed information on breast and testicular cancer.

What are the symptoms and breast and testicular cancer?

The NHS explains: “Symptoms of breast cancer can include a lump or change in the look, shape or feel of one or both breasts, while symptoms of testicular cancer can include painless swelling or a lump in one of the testicles or any change in shape or texture of the testicles."

It adds: “National figures show that 91% of women survive for at least five years if diagnosed at an early stage of breast cancer (stage one), whereas this reduces to 39% where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (stage four).

“Meanwhile, nearly all men survive testicular cancer, if the cancer has spread, survival for five years or more can reduce to 65%.”

Dame Cally Palmer, NHS England’s national director for cancer, said: “This is the first time the whole of the NHS has worked with a national supermarket brand to put health messaging on clothing, with the aim of encouraging thousands more people to be body aware, so they can spot new or unexplained changes that might be cancer symptoms early, and contact their GP practice for checks if concerned.

“Cancer survival is at an all-time high – survival for both breast and testicular cancers have improved significantly over the last 50 years and we’re seeing more people than ever before diagnosed at an early stage – and this partnership with Morrisons is just one of the many ways we are ensuring people are aware of potential cancer symptoms.

“I want to urge everyone to be aware of their own bodies – please look out for lumps and bumps or anything else that is unusual for you – and get checked out early, it could save your life.”

David Scott, corporate affairs director at Morrisons, said: “We are proud to be leading the way in offering NHS England a new route to reach customers with important messages about body awareness and the symptoms of breast and testicular cancer.

“The new care labels on our crop top bras and boxers urge people to get to know their bodies so that they can more easily notice changes and to contact their GP practice sooner if something doesn’t feel right.

“In the majority of cases, it won’t be cancer, but where it is cancer, diagnosing it early means treatments are more likely to be successful and can ultimately save lives.”