UK & World News
Persistent Cough 'Could Be Lung Cancer Sign'
A cough that "lasts for three weeks" is the focus of a new campaign to increase awareness of lung cancer symptoms and improve earlier diagnosis in England.
New figures reveal that only one-in-10 people know that a persistent cough for three weeks or more could be a symptom of lung cancer.
Despite the disease killing more people than any other form of cancer in England, this symptom fares worse in public awareness compared to knowledge of other cancer signs, according to Cancer Research.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: "Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in this country but worryingly many people don't know the signs and symptoms that could save their lives.
"The earlier lung cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of survival."
Retired social worker Ann Long was diagnosed with lung cancer eight years ago. The 75-year-old from Formby had been suffering from a cough for five weeks.
Mrs Long told Sky News: "I hadn't given it much notice until I realised it wasn't going away.
"If you have a cough for several weeks then go to your doctor.
"It doesn't necessarily mean you have cancer but you never know."
The new campaign is being supported by a host of celebrities, many of whom have been touched by the disease in some way.
Several high profile individuals including Ricky Gervais, Alex Ferguson, Duncan Bannatyne, Lynda Bellingham and Linda Robson have lent their support by participating in a photography exhibition holding x-ray images of healthy lungs.
Lung cancer affects 33,000 people every year in England with the majority of cases occurring in people over the age of 55.
When diagnosed at its earliest stage, as many as 80% of people are alive five years after diagnosis compared with only 7% diagnosed at a late stage.
British actor and comedian, Ricky Gervais, whose mother died of lung cancer at the age of 74, said: "It's devastating when you see someone you love dying from lung cancer.It's a horrible, horrible disease.
"My mother's death was very sudden and you can't help wondering if things would have been different had it been spotted earlier. If you've had a bad cough for three weeks and you can't get rid of it, just make an appointment with your GP today."
Professor Sir Mike Richards, National Cancer Director for England, said: "It is vital that cancer patients get treated quickly so they have the best chance of surviving.
"Earlier diagnosis of lung cancer, combined with the best treatments, could help save an additional 1,300 lives a year."
Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK's director of policy, said: "We welcome this campaign and believe the message is clear - getting an early diagnosis of lung cancer could save your life."
The adverts will appear on TV, radio, online and in newspapers in England until the end of June.
what do you think?
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you stupid stupid person maybe you wouldnt be as Insensitive if you had lost a loved one 8weeks ago to this dreadful disease!!!!Early diagnosis and my mum would still be here.
Yea, you try convincing your GP of that. Many coughs last longer than three weeks. Try living in the north of England.
B Wise you dont hold the exclusive rights for limited resourses if that is what you meant,you try living in the South of England ,despite popular opinion that the South fares better regarding resourses ,I have news for you we dont .We live in the shadow of London and our wages and resourses are a fraction of what they get, but our expenditure is far more than the morth of England .Our doctors surgeries are as hard to book up appointments and our waiting lists for treatments are probably a lot worse
I think what he means is that its so cold up north that its hard to get rid of a cold in 3 weeks not that its harder to get an appointment compared to the south,i think it was northern sence of humour
B.Wise. get that chip off your shoulder.
You don't even see a doctor about a cough these days, you see the practice nurse if you don't want to wait forever an appointment.
My mum kept going to the GP with coughing etc and he turned her away saying she had a virus. A year later she died from lung cancer.
Start a story that a cough may be cancer and look out for the rush to the surgery.
Well,that's given me something to think about.
Why is this only being advertised in England, does this mean that people in the rest of the UK don't matter??
No clive it means that they don't have such panic merchants who think up something new each week - I like the way the government says if you hav a cough..........and at the same time they withdraw monsy from the NHS so they can't afford to do anything about it! More chance of a persistent cough being a hundred of other things, including TB which was eradicated in this country until the EEC told us we had to allow carriers access to this country from other EEC states - the government of course collapsed and let them in -it might kill us we we have to be seen to be politically correct
i don,t trust any doctors any longer-my own dad was told he had prostrate cancer.he was given hormone medication to redcue his testosterone and hopefully keep the cancer in check.soon he was in hospital losing stones of weight and literally dying in front of everyone.he had pipes coming out of everywhere -was this porstrate cancer i asked everyone.yes,was the answer.eventually after he was reduced to being pipe fed(and at great cost to the hospital as we were constantly being told at every opportunity)he went to sleep forever. upon his death certificate was the cause of death "lung cancer" is what it said ! yes indeed he was lied to ,we were lied to,they had no idea-it was only when the autopsy was done that it showed up he had been suffering for the last 5 months of untreated lung cancer. so if you have a cough-god bless you !