Local NHS service commissioners are supporting a new campaign to raise awareness of possible signs and symptoms of lung cancer.
NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is backing the Public Health England Be Clear on Cancer: lung cancer campaign, running across the country until end of April. The campaign will feature adverts on national TV, radio and in the press.
The campaign aims to raise awareness of possible signs and symptoms of lung cancer, especially a cough that lasts for three weeks or more, and encourage those with these symptoms to see their doctor. Finding lung cancer early makes it more treatable.
The first national Be Clear on Cancer lung cancer campaign ran from May to July 2012, with encouraging results. Nationally, around 700 extra patients were diagnosed with lung cancer in these months when compared to the same period in the previous year.
Dr Dan Roper, local GP and Chair of the CCG Board said: “Of course, a cough can be caused by many other conditions and it may well not be cancer, but it is always best to be sure by making an appointment to discuss your symptoms with your GP. Smokers or ex-smokers who have developed a new onset cough that has lingered for 3 weeks or longer, or who are coughing up any blood, should most definitely see their GP without delay. You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked out.”
The latest 3 year data from The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), the national provider of information, data and IT systems for health and social care, shows that in Hull between 2009 and 2011, 729 people were diagnosed with lung cancer and 634 people died from the disease. When converted to rate per 100,000 population, both of these figures are significantly higher than the England average.1
Dr Roper added: “Locally, we can all help to make a difference and reduce the number of people who die from lung cancer by encouraging early recognition of possible symptoms and seeking treatment as soon as possible. A diagnosis of lung cancer isn’t the end and treatment is available, but the earlier it’s spotted, the better.”
Around 34,900 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in England every year, with the majority of cases occurring in those over the age of 50. Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer because over two-thirds of patients are diagnosed at a late stage when treatment that could cure is not possible. More lives could be saved if people were diagnosed at an earlier stage.
A cough that lasts for three weeks or more is the most common symptom of lung cancer. Other possible symptoms include:
• A cough that has got worse or changes
• Coughing up blood
• Repeated chest infections
• Feeling more tired than usual for some time
• Losing weight for no obvious reason
• An ache or pain in the chest or shoulder that has lasted some time
1 634 people died of lung cancer in Hull between 2009 and 2011, a directly standardised rate (DSR) of 67.6 deaths per 100,000 population. The equivalent rate for England is 37.2 deaths per 100,000 population. 729 people were diagnosed with lung cancer between 2009 and 2011, a directly standardised rate (DSR) of 79.1 cases per 100,000 population. The equivalent rate for England is 46.2 cases per 100,000 population.
Sources: Health and Social Care Information Centre. Dataset: ‘Mortality from lung cancer: directly standardised rate, all ages 3-year average MFP’; and Dataset ‘Incidence of lung cancer: directly standardised rate, all ages, 3-year average MFP’ [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2014 Mar 26]. Available from: https://indicators.ic.nhs.uk/webview
For further information contact the NHS North Yorkshire and Humber Communications Team on 0300 303 8394.
Notes to Editors
• The Be Clear on Cancer: lung cancer campaign runs from 1st to 30th April 2014. Television adverts will be shown during this period to encourage people who have had a persistent cough (3 weeks or more) to see their GP to have their symptoms checked out.
• Be Clear on Cancer is a cancer awareness campaign led by Public Health England, working in partnership with the Department of Health and NHS England.
• The NHS Choices web site has a public information leaflet available for download, including an ‘easy read’ version www.nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer/lung-cancer/home
• NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is led by a membership of 57 local GP practices. The CCG has a budget of around £362m to commission hospital, community and mental health services to meet the needs of the people of Hull.
• Our vision is to Create a Healthier Hull, and in order to achieve this we work in close collaboration with our partners to improve health, reduce health inequality and secure excellent services for all the communities in Hull.