Don’t ignore a persistent cough, tell your doctor

The Be Clear on Cancer campaign, aimed at increasing the awareness of lung cancer, has been so successful it is being repeated.

The campaign first ran nationally throughout England in May – July 2012 and an extra 700 people were diagnosed with lung cancer compared to the same period in the previous year. Approximately 400 more people were diagnosed at an early stage and around 300 people had surgery giving them the best chance of survival.

Lung cancer is still one of the most common cancers in England with 34,900 people diagnosed and 28,100 people dying from it every year. In the Bradford area 401 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2011. In the same year, sadly lung cancer claimed the lives of 289 sufferers.

The three local clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), NHS Bradford City, NHS Bradford Districts and NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are keen to highlight the signs and symptoms of lung cancer to people across the district. The key message of the campaign is – ‘If you have had a cough for three weeks or more, see your doctor.’

Dr Ian Fenwick, the district’s clinical lead for cancer, said: ‘Lung cancer is still the most common cancer in the UK and we know that people have a better chance of survival the earlier the cancer is diagnosed.

‘We are extremely keen to raise awareness of its symptoms and encourage people to see their doctors as soon as possible if they are concerned.

The campaign is simple, if you have had a cough for three weeks or more or have any other symptoms of lung cancer, see you doctor.’

The campaign is predominantly aimed at men and women over the age of 50 as they are most at risk of having lung cancer. From the 10 March, adverts on TV, print and radio are raising awareness about the symptoms, which include:
• a cough that has lasted for three weeks or more
• repeated chest infections
• breathlessness
• feeling more tired than usual for no obvious reason
• an ache or pain in your chest or shoulder that has lasted some time
If you or someone you know has one or more of these symptoms you should book an appointment to see your doctor. It’s probably nothing, but it need to be checked out. The earlier lung cancer is detected the more successful treatment can be.

Lung cancer prevention: not smoking is the most effective way to avoid getting lung cancer.

Stop smoking: The best way to prevent lung cancer and other serious conditions is to stop smoking as soon as possible, it is always worth quitting. Every year people do not smoke, the risk of getting serious illnesses, such as lung cancer, will decrease. After 10 years of not smoking, the chances of developing lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker.
To get help to quit, call the local stop smoking service on: 01274 437700 or email: stopsmoking@bradford.gov.uk

Diet: Research suggests that eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including at least five portions a day of fruit and vegetables and plenty of whole grains, can help people reduce the risk of lung cancer, as well as other types of cancer and heart diseases.

Exercise: There is strong evidence to suggest that regular exercise can lower the risk of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer. Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.