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​Face your Fear this Lung Cancer Awareness Month

We are encouraging people in Lewisham to 'face their fear' by talking to their doctor about the potential symptoms of lung cancer so it can be diagnosed as early as possible.

Recent research shows cancer is the most feared illness among the public, but a new campaign aims to help curb people's anxiety over being diagnosed with the disease.

Launched as part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Face your Fear campaign incorporates a roadshow with an immersive virtual reality experience, which confronts the apprehension stopping many people from reporting potential lung cancer symptoms. 

Currently, half of people diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK have stage four disease, where it has spread to other parts of the body and is considered incurable.

However, diagnosis at an earlier stage can make a huge difference in survival rates, and new treatments mean those with lung cancer can still live well and for longer. 

Dr Esther Appleby, local GP and Clinical Director at NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said:

"Diagnosis of lung cancer at an earlier stage is associated with better survival outcomes – new treatments mean people are living well with lung cancer for longer and, if caught early, doctors treat with curative intent. It is crucial that people face their fear and go to their doctor with any concerns; ignoring the symptoms of lung cancer will not stop you having it."

If have experienced any of the below symptoms you should visit your doctor:

  • ·         Persistent cough
  • ·         Change in a long-term cough
  • ·         Ongoing chest infections
  • ·         Coughing up blood
  • ·         Chest or shoulder pain
  • ·         Loss of appetite
  • ·         Unexplained weight loss, fatigue or breathlessness

If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your GP as soon as you can. It might not be anything serious, but if it is lung cancer, the earlier you start to take control of your condition the better as this will ensure you receive the treatment you need.

The Face your Fear roadshow runs until Sunday 4 November at Lewisham Shopping Centre (from 31 October) and aims to educate people about the symptoms while highlighting the positive impact that diagnosis of lung cancer at an earlier stage can have on patient outcomes. The national campaign was created by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and AstraZeneca. For more information, visit the foundation's website