Sisterhood is at the core of Eisai’s awareness campaign for endometrial cancer.
The digital and social effort “Spot Her” encourages women to not only look for the signs themselves—spotting and cramping, for instance—but also watch out for friends and talk more openly to break the stigma around endometrial cancer.
Despite being one of the most common gynecological cancers at 90% of all uterine cancers, the stigma around its personal nature means that women haven’t often talked about their symptoms. Eisai—along with Share Cancer Support, Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) and Black Health Matters—aims to end that silence in the push to encourage women to be aware of and look out for mothers, aunts, sisters, and friends.
While the campaign targets all pre- and post-menopausal women, Eisai specifically teamed up with Black Health Matters to reach Black women. Because of risk factors and health inequity, only 53% of Black women receive an early diagnosis, and they have a much lower five-year survival rate of 62% compared with that of white women at 84%.
“’Spot Her’ implies the goal of our campaign—to help educate women to spot the signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer, with one of the common symptoms being spotting,” Teresa Cronin, Eisai’s senior director of corporate advocacy, said.
The initiative also features a downloadable digital orange fanny pack to serve as a symbol of the campaign. The brightly colored accessory is based on the actual pack given to caretakers and patients.
Eisai is encouraging social media users to add the digital version to their own photos. For every post shared using the #SpotHerforEC tag, Eisai will donate one dollar, up to a total $20,000, to its campaign partner charities.
The cornerstone of the campaign is the website, where a short video explains the signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer and points out that “yesterday” symptoms were often been stigmatized or dismissed.
“Today marks the end of silence around one of the most common but under-recognized women’s cancer,” a voiceover says.
The campaign has been well received by the community, Cronin said, adding the company is “also seeing organic use of the hashtag, which we always see as a positive sign that the campaign is really resonating.”
The campaign started at the end of last month, with plans for it to run indefinitely. But Eisai reevaluates its campaigns each year to ensure they’re still working for patients, caregivers and community.
Eisai and Merck’s combination therapy of Keytruda and Lenvima nabbed the first approval for endometrial cancer in 2019. It was also the first approval through Project Orbis, a collaborative program between the U.S., Canada and Australia that allows concurrent reviews to shorten cancer drugs’ paths to market.
The Keytruda-Lenmiva approval is conditional in the U.S., with full approval contingent upon confirmatory data. Some of that data is now in. Last month, Merck and Eisai reported phase 3 results showing the Keytruda-Lenvima pairing cut the risk of death by 38% over physician’s choice of chemotherapy in previously treated endometrial cancer patients.