NHS Forth Valley backs national Detect Cancer Early campaign

NHS Forth Valley today backed a national campaign to encourage people with possible symptoms of lung cancer to get checked without delay.

The Scottish Government’s ‘Settling In’ campaign, urges people to contact their GP practice if they have unusual breathlessness or a new or different persistent cough for more than three weeks.
These symptoms can be early signs of lung cancer, especially if aged over 40.

The Detect Cancer Early campaign drives home that the sooner lung cancer is diagnosed, the more that can be done to treat it, in a bid to encourage people who have possible signs or symptoms to seek help.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland, with 5,3001 people on average diagnosed each year. However latest figures show that there have been significant improvements in the proportion of people surviving in recent years2, with more curative treatments available when the disease is found at an earlier stage.

Jennifer Wilson, lead Macmillan lung cancer nurse specialist for NHS Forth Valley, said:

“Finding and treating cancer as early as possible remains a priority so If you have a possible symptom of lung cancer please contact your local GP practice without delay. Your GP can provide advice and arrange any follow up tests required.”

Minister for Public Health, Maree Todd said:

“This important campaign is focused on raising awareness of the early signs of lung cancer which remains our most common cancer in Scotland. We’ve seen survival rates for lung cancer improve in recent years, but finding it early, when more can be done to treat it, is key.

“If someone close to you is experiencing any possible symptoms, encourage them to contact their GP practice, ultimately you might save their life.”

Dr Philip Hodkinson, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Joint National Clinical Lead for Detect Cancer Early, said:

“More treatments with the potential to cure lung cancer are available than ever before, but finding it in its earliest stages is key to maximising treatment options. That’s why it’s so important that anyone experiencing symptoms visits their GP practice so that they can be assessed as soon as possible and referred, if appropriate, to the correct specialist.

“Whether you yourself have possible symptoms, or a family member or friend does, please don’t put off booking an appointment. The chance of survival is up to ten times higher if we can treat lung cancer before it spreads to other parts of the body, and a much wider range of treatment options are available. Additionally, the body can respond better to treatment when cancer is found earlier.”

For more information about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, visit getcheckedearly.org