UK & World News
Lung Cancer Detection Rate 'Boosted' By TV Ad
A Government TV campaign urging people with a three-week-old cough to visit the doctor has reportedly boosted lung cancer detection rates.
The Be Clear On Cancer advert ran between May and June last year to raise awareness of a range of cancers.
Cancer Research UK, which supported the campaign, says as a result around 700 more people were diagnosed with the disease compared with the same period the year before.
Sarah Williams, spokeswoman for the charity, told Sky News: "There are indications this will be helping survival rates and people will have a much better chance of surviving their disease.
"We do know with lung cancer that when it's picked up earlier the chances of survival are much better, simply because it's easier to treat."
Joe Suckling, from Derbyshire, said he wished the advert had been around when he became unwell.
In 2007, he noticed a niggling cough. Over the next five months it got gradually worse until he was finally diagnosed with lung cancer and warned he might have to have his right lung removed.
He told Sky News: "I knew I was dying. If the radiotherapy hadn't have helped me then yes I would have died, and if I'd delayed much longer the treatment wouldn't have been viable."
He believes his persistence in getting treatment saved his life and hopes the campaign makes others seek help.
The UK currently has one of the lowest lung cancer survival rates in Europe, with around 35,000 deaths from the disease every year.
Sean Duffy, national clinical director for cancer at NHS England, said: "Until recently a lung cancer patient in Sweden was nearly 70% more likely to survive their disease for at least five years than if they lived in England.
"So I am therefore delighted that this new set of figures shows that the Be Clear On Cancer campaign has helped speed up our progress in lung cancer survival with hundreds of patients receiving potential life-saving surgery as a result of this campaign."
Public Health England is now considering re-running the campaign next year.
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