This week, PCP's Cancer Awareness Team have joined Northern Cancer Alliance in a month long lung cancer awareness campaign, 'Do it for Yourself'.
The ‘Do it For Yourself’ campaign is encouraging people to contact their GP if they’ve been experiencing a continuous cough and/or ongoing breathlessness for three weeks or more, while reassuring them that it is safe to do so. The campaign is particularly targeting men and women over 50 who are at an increased risk.
In addition to the symptom of a cough for three weeks or more lung cancer can also present the following symptoms:
• Chest infections that keep coming back
• Coughing up blood
• An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
• Persistent breathlessness
• Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
• Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 13% of all cancer cases. While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers across the spectrum, the impact was particularly pronounced in lung cancer. As referrals began to drop and an entire generation of lung cancer patients potentially found themselves at an increased risk of being lost to the disease, a solution was needed to help encourage patients who may be suffering from symptoms to return to their GP surgeries and seek help.
Five-year survival for persons diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer is 57% compared with just 3% for those diagnosed with late stage (stage 4) lung cancer. However, when cancer is diagnosed early, treatment is more likely to be successful.
We want to remind you it is safe to visit you GP. The NHS is open and has adapted operations to be able to see patients safely. Hospitals and GP surgeries have a range of measures including initial phone consultations and frequent hand sanitising in place to support patient visits, and further specific precautions can be found out by directly contacting the medical facility. The bigger risk is leaving symptoms people might be worried about to go unchecked.
For more information please visit the Northern Cancer Alliance.