Tell your doctor if you have had a cough for more than three weeks

Local clinical leaders are urging people across Bradford and Airedale who have been coughing for more than three weeks to visit their GP.

In support of the national Be Clear on Cancer campaign, local clinicians from the district’s CCGs: Bradford City, Bradford Districts and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, are raising awareness of lung cancer symptoms to encourage people with a persistent cough to contact their GP early.

Lung cancer is a major cause of death across our district – it claims around 274 lives in Bradford and Airedale each year. It is currently England’s biggest cancer killer, with around 28,000 deaths each year and the UK’s survival rates lag behind comparable countries.

Dr Ian Fenwick, the district’s clinical lead for cancer, said: “In the UK, more people die from lung cancer than any other cancer and we know they have a better chance of survival the earlier the cancer is diagnosed.
“We are extremely keen to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of this disease and encourage our patients to seek help earlier.

“The message from the campaign is simple: if you have a persistent cough for three weeks or more, visit your GP. This simple step could save their life.”

Following the successful 2012 campaign, this year’s campaign is aimed at men and women over the age of 50, as they are at most risk. Since the beginning of July, adverts on TV, print and radio are raising awareness about the symptoms, which include:

  • a persistent cough for three weeks or more

  • a cough that has got worse or changes

  • repeated chest infections

  • coughing up blood

  • breathless

  • feeling more tired than usual for some time

  • losing weight for no obvious reason

  • an ache or pain in your chest or shoulder that has lasted some time.


Awareness events are also taking place in shopping centres across the UK in a bid to speak to people face to face and offer them health advice to prevent lung cancer.

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 fresh 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 disease.

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 and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.