Be alert to symptoms of lung cancer, new campaign urges

4 Jul 2013 @ 5.34 pm
| News

Issued by City of York Council

As part of its Public Health remit City of York Councilis supporting the NHS’s Be Clear on Cancer lung cancer campaign which was launched earlier this month. The campaign is taking place across England with adverts running on TV, radio and in the press.

The campaign will run until 11 August 2013. It aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, especially a cough that lasts for three weeks or more, and encourage those with these symptoms to see their doctor. The earlier cancer is found, the more treatable it is.

Around 34,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in England every year, with the majority of cases occurring in those over the age of 50. 91 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in York in 2010.

Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer because over two-thirds of patients are diagnosed at a late state when treatment that could cure is not possible. More lives could be saved if people were diagnosed at an earlier stage.

If survival rates for lung cancer in England matched the best in Europe, it is estimated that an extra 1,300 lives could be saved each year.

A cough that lasts for three weeks or more is the most common symptom of lung cancer. Other symptoms include:

  • A cough that has got worse or changes
  • Coughing up blood
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling more tired than usual for some time
  • Losing weight for no obvious reason
  • An ache or pain in the chest or shoulder that has lasted some time

Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones, City of York Council’s Director of Public Health said: “Many people believe if you have lung cancer it’s the end, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Lung cancer can be treated and you can have a good quality of life afterwards.

“But it’s important for people to be aware of the symptoms of lung cancer – if you have a cough that lasts over three weeks then go to see your doctor. Early diagnosis means you have a better chance of survival.

“It’s very straightforward for your doctor to examine you and determine whether to send you for a chest X-ray. The process is simple and if your doctor suspects it might be cancer you will see a specialist within two weeks. They would then arrange for further tests and, if necessary, treatment.

“You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked out – it might be a sign of something else that needs treatment. And if your symptoms persist, go back to your doctor – they’ll want to help.”

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