Be clear on lung cancer 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.
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. Going to your doctor’s as soon as you have any of the symptoms is essential. 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 Arun Gupta is a local GP and is also the NHS Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group clinical lead for health and wellbeing. He has seen many patients with symptoms of lung cancer come to him late, and he says it can be different.
Dr Gupta said: “Get to know what the symptoms are, and visit your GP as soon as possible if you are concerned. Most people that come in with symptoms either know the symptoms and suspect there may be something serious. They are worried about finding out and delay attending, or are unsure of the symptoms and think there’s nothing to worry about. The earlier you spot it the better your chances the cancer will be treatable and you’ll survive.
“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, make the appointment as soon as possible.”
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 know if it is cancer or not and have a better chance of survival if it is.
Go with your instincts, if you are worried then see your GP.
To learn more about the symptoms of lung cancer and the 'be clear on lung cancer' campaign, vist NHS Choices website.