Updated: Wednesday, 22nd November 2017 @ 5:30pm

Lung cancer symptoms highlighted in NHS ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign backed by Tameside council

Lung cancer symptoms highlighted in NHS ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign backed by Tameside council

By Katja Stein

The NHS’ battle against lung cancer is being backed by Tameside council in a fresh campaign which urges more people to be aware of the symptoms before it is too late.

The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign aims to raise awareness for the disease using TV and radio advertisements across England encouraging people with a cough that lasts for three weeks or more to see a doctor immediately.

Shockingly, 28,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year with only 15% of people being diagnosed at the earliest stages.

The campaign, also backed by Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), highlights that the disease has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer with only 27% of men and 30% of women with lung cancer surviving for at least a year after being diagnosed.

Dr Ram Jha, a Tameside GP and CCG Lead for Planned Care and Cancer, said: “Lung cancer doesn’t have to be the end, if caught early enough it can be treated and a good quality of life can be had afterwards.

“If you feel you have any of the symptoms get them checked out – you are not wasting anyone‘s time and it might be a sign of something else that needs treatment.

“Remember, your GP wants to help.”

The biggest cause of lung cancer is smoking affecting 85-90% of lung cancers, and those that smoke are 15 times more likely to die.

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

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation said: “Disturbingly, two out of every five lung cancer diagnoses are made when patients are admitted to A&E.

“Most lung cancer cases should be detectable long before this stage. It’s very important to be aware of your lung health - the sooner cancer is detected the better the chances of successful treatment.

“If there is something wrong, it’s best to get assessed and put your mind at rest sooner rather than later.”

Celebrities including Ricky Gervais, Alex Ferguson, Jenny Frost and Duncan Bannatyne are involved in the campaign and have been photographed holding up healthy lung X-rays in support.

British actor Ricky Gervais, whose mother died of lung cancer at the age of 74, said: "It's devastating when you see someone you love dying from lung cancer.

“It's a horrible, horrible disease. My mother's death was very sudden and you can't help wondering if things would have been different had it been spotted earlier."

For more information on the Be Clear on Cancer campaign, click here.

Picture courtesy of Wellcome, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.