Lung cancer: Dr Amir describes the symptoms in February
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Subsequently, there is a great impetus among healthcare providers and doctors to ensure people know the symptoms and how to reduce their risk.
Today, on World Lung Cancer Day, the NHS is looking to do just that as the health service launches its Help Us Help You initiative.
This campaign aims to encourage people to see their GP if they have any symptoms of lung cancer.
Most of the symptoms of lung cancer are present both in how someone breathes and how effectively they breathe.
Two of the most noticeable symptoms of lung cancer are a continuous cough and/or breathlessness.
Other symptoms include:
• Chest infections that keep returning
• Coughing up blood
• An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
• Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
• Loss of appetite
• Unexplained weight loss.
The national clinical director for cancer Professor Peter Johnson said lung cancer referrals had not returned to pre-lockdown levels: “For lung cancer, we have not seen referrals bounce back at the same rate as other cancers.
“It is vital that people stay alert against suspected lung cancer symptoms, so if you have a continuous cough or breathlessness, don’t ignore or assume it’s something else, please visit your GP and get it checked out.”
While the occurrence of a continuous cough or breathlessness doesn’t mean someone definitely has lung cancer, getting it checked could reveal the presence of another condition requiring treatment.
Furthermore, if it is lung cancer and it is caught early, the chances of long-term survival increase dramatically.
Commenting on the campaign, Health Secretary Steve Barclay wrote: “We know that the earlier you catch cancer, the better the chances of survival, and the Help Us Help You initiative is empowering people to come forward for screening – particularly for lung cancer, which is the biggest cause of death by cancer in England.
“I want to thank all those that continue to be involved in this lifesaving campaign, which aims to increase the number of cancer patients diagnosed at earlier stages from half to three-quarters by 2028.”
The Help Us Help You initiative forms part of a 10-year war on cancer launched by former Health Secretary Sajid Javid earlier this year.
As part of this campaign, a new call for evidence was laid out as the NHS explores different treatments for a disease which eviscerates the lives of so many.
In a statement at the time, Javid said: “It will take a far-reaching look at how we want cancer care to be in 2032 – ten years from now. Looking at all stages, from prevention, to diagnosis, to treatment and vaccines.
“We want to hear views from far and wide to help us shape this work. Please join us in this effort, so fewer people face the heartache of losing a loved one to this wretched disease.”
The first year of this cancer conflict comes at a time of concerning developments in the prevalence of some cancers in the UK.
Last month, it was announced that skin cancer death rates for men had tripled since the 1970s.
Cancer Research UK said men were 69 percent more likely to die from melanoma than women, adding a lack of sun protection was a factor.
As the UK looks set to potentially experience longer and hotter summers in the future, experts warn skin cancer rates could rise further.
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