Morrisons shoppers in Bolton will find NHS advice on underwear labels urging them to contact their GP practice if they spot potential symptoms of breast or testicular cancer.

The Nutmeg branded underwear featuring NHS advice will be in 240 Morrisons stores nationwide, including two in Bolton and seven other stores in Greater Manchester. The labels will first appear in boxer shorts, followed by crop top bras in the coming months.

Morrisons in Bolton Atlas Mills store and the Bolton Dawes store.

The NHS guidance will be displayed on the fabric labels alongside the standard sizing and care information. There will also be a QR code on the packaging and tags linking customers through to more detailed information on breast and testicular cancer on the NHS website.

The Bolton News: Morrisons

Morrisons is the first UK supermarket to roll-out the new labels and this first-of-its-kind partnership for the NHS is the latest move in a significant drive to ensure people are aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer.

If people notice symptoms that could be cancer, they should contact their GP practice and come forward for checks as early as possible so they can get the all-clear or, in some cases, a cancer diagnosis sooner - to give them the best chance of surviving the disease.

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.

National figures show that 91 per cent of women survive for at least five years if diagnosed at the earliest stage of breast cancer, where the tumour is small (stage one), whereas this reduces to 39 per cent where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (stage four).

While nearly all men survive testicular cancer, if the cancer has spread, survival for five years or more can reduce to 65 per cent.

Alison Jones, Director of Early Diagnosis at Greater Manchester Cancer Alliance, 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.

The Bolton News: Morrisons

“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 with cancer at an early stage – but we want to continue this progress and this partnership with Morrisons is just one of 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.”

The Nutmeg range is being modelled and supported by cancer survivors.

Morrisons has also made a £10,000 donation to NHS Charities Together and has committed to transferring more than £2 million from its apprenticeship levy to Yorkshire Ambulance Service to help train around 200 paramedics in the region.

More people than ever before are being seen and treated by the NHS for cancer – in the last year the number of people receiving lifesaving checks for cancer hit nearly three million (2.92m) – more than any other year on record.