Look out for the next ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ public health campaign, which is running from July through to October. The campaign aims to alert people to respiratory symptoms that may indicate lung cancer, and is aimed particularly at those aged 50 and over.
Key messages are:
• ‘If you get out of breath doing things you used to be able to do, tell your doctor’
• ‘If you’ve had a cough for three weeks or more, tell your doctor’.
Early diagnosis of any type of cancer means treatment can be commenced earlier, and greatly increases your chance of survival. It also reduces the downstream burden on the NHS in treating someone with more advances disease, so a real win-win!
And in case you doubt whether these campaigns are effective, the first national lung cancer campaign in 2012 saw an increase of 32% in urgent referrals for suspected lung cancer in the campaign months, compared with the same period in the previous year.
A persistent cough can sometimes be a side effect of some medicines, so if you are not sure, check with your pharmacist before seeing your GP.