Be Clear On Lung Cancer in Lewisham
NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging local people to think about lung cancer as part of the national Be Clear on Cancer campaign running throughout July.
Lung cancer is England’s biggest cancer killer claiming around 28,100 lives every year. Outcomes in Britain are worse than those in some European countries and it is estimated 1,300 deaths could be avoided each year if five-year survival cancer rates matched the best in Europe.
Lung cancer is fully treatable and you can have a good quality of life afterwards. But going to your doctor as soon as you have any of the symptoms is absolutely critical; if you have a persistent cough or cough up blood then see your GP. Early diagnosis means you have a better chance of survival and often means the cancer won’t have spread.
Dr Faruk Majid is a local GP and one of the Clinical Directors of NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group. He has been a GP for over 25 years and has seen many patients with symptoms of lung cancer when it’s just too late. But it doesn’t have to be like this. By knowing what the symptoms are and visiting the GP immediately the chances are the cancer will be easier to treat. He said:
“Plenty of people may be experiencing lung cancer symptoms but put off a visit to their GP, either because they're worried that it could be serious or because they don't realise that their symptoms need to be checked out.
“But if you have a persistent cough that has lasted for three weeks or more or at any point cough up blood you need to visit the GP.”
It’s very straightforward for your GP to examine you and determine whether to send you for a chest X-ray. The process is simple and if your GP suspects it might be cancer you will see a specialist within two weeks and they would then arrange for further tests and, if necessary, treatment. You will either get reassurance that it isn’t lung cancer or you will find out it is and have a better chance of survival.
Go with your instincts, if you are worried then see your GP.