Be Clear On Lung Cancer in Lambeth
NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group is encouraging local people to think about lung cancer as part of the national Be Clear on Cancer campaign running throughout March.
Lung cancer is England’s biggest cancer killer claiming around 28,100 lives every year. Patients with lung cancer have worse outcomes in Britain than those inmany other 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.
Most people who have lung cancer have a troublesome cough – although most people with a cough do not have lung cancer! But if you have a new or troublesome cough that has lasted for 3 weeks or more it’s best to get your symptoms checked out – the chances are it’s nothing serious, but it may still need treating. But if it is cancer, finding out sooner can make a real difference and can help save your life.
Dr Cathy Burton is a local GP and is also the NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group Lead for Cancer and Screening. She has been a GP for over 30 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. She said:
“There tend to be two types of people that visit with lung cancer symptoms; those that suspect their symptoms may be something serious but don’t want to acknowledge it and those that don’t think the symptoms are anything to worry about.
“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.