Top doctor backs lung cancer campaign
12:14pm Saturday 7th July 2012 in News
A top doctor is backing a Government initiative to raise awareness of lung cancer.
Dr Shakil Rahman, chest consultant at St Helier, Sutton and Epsom Hospitals, is supporting the campaign after 149 referrals were made for lung cancer symptoms to Epsom Hospital last year.
There were also 160 referrals to St Helier Hospital for diagnosis.
The Be Clear on Cancer campaign highlights early symptoms such as a persistent cough for three weeks or more, which according to Dr Rahman could mean the difference between life and death.
Although the chances of symptoms turning into lung cancer are quite low, many people wait too long before seeking medical help which reduces the chance of successful treatment.
Dr Rahman said: "Lung cancer symptoms can seem quite common – a persistent cough, or an infection you can’t seem to shift. "Coupled with that, it’s a very scary thing to face, and sometimes people are reluctant to go and see their GP. "However, the message is clear, the sooner lung cancer is detected, the more treatable it is. Therefore, it’s important that people go to see their GP if they have concerns."
Other symptoms of lung cancer are repeated chest infections, coughing up blood, breathlessness and weight loss.
The new campaign has gained widespread support, including backing from Ricky Gervais, Alex Ferguson and Lynda Bellingham.
For more information visit nhs.co.uk/lungcancer or epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk