A NEW campaign to reduce the number of deaths from lung cancer has been launched by the NHS.
Health trusts in the south are working alongside the Central South Coast Cancer Network (CSCCN) to support the national Be Clear on Cancer campaign, launched today (Tuesday).
It is aimed at raising awareness about the symptoms of lung cancer, which include a prolonged cough, repeated chest infections, coughing up blood, breathlessness and persistent shoulder pain, and encouraging people with these symptoms to see their doctor.
Lung cancer is England’s second most common cancer, with around 33,000 new cases each year.
It causes more deaths than any other form of cancer and successful treatment relies heavily on early diagnosis.
Although smoking is known to increase the risk of developing lung cancer, around one in eight people diagnosed have never smoked.
CSCCN GP lead Dr Richard Roope said: "It is a common belief that cancer is a death sentence. This really isn't the case and dispelling that myth could save lives. If caught early, cancer is treatable and early diagnosis is extremely important with lung cancer. Therefore, if you have had a cough for the past three weeks or more, you must visit your GP to get checked out.
"Sadly I have had patients who have left worrying symptoms for months and when they visit me it’s too late — their lung cancer was incurable. But I also have had other patients who have come to see me at the first sign of a problem and they go on to have successful treatment for their lung cancer."
For further information about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, visit www.nhs.uk/lungcancer