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| YOU ARE VIEWING ARTICLE - ID:20131011032 |
|Title:||Lung Cancer Survivors Back Cancer Awareness Campaign|
|ID & Publication:||20131011032 ~ The-Villager.co.uk |
|Subject:||Community News |
Sue Levan, Paul Herrod and Barrie Scothern have survived lung cancer.
Now they are backing Doncaster Council’s Public Health team’s cancer awareness campaign in a bid to help save lives.
Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer because over two-thirds of patients are diagnosed at a late stage when treatment that could cure is not possible.
More lives could be saved if people were diagnosed at an earlier stage. If survival rates for lung cancer in England matched the best in Europe, it is estimated that an extra 1,300 lives could be saved each year.
Figures show* 3,353 people died of lung cancer in Yorkshire and Humberside in 2010 and 219 of those people were from Doncaster.
The three survivors and the council’s Public Health team are hoping to help save lives by spreading the Cough, Cough message.
The Cough, Cough campaign will run until the end of November and aims to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, especially a cough that lasts for three weeks or more, and encourage those with these symptoms to see their doctor. The earlier cancer is found, the more treatable it is.
Sue Levan, 67, of Wheatley, Doncaster, was 47-years-old when she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
She said: ‘It has been 20 years since my diagnosis and I am sure the early diagnosis saved me – I feel really lucky.
‘I would say to anyone who has had a cough for more than three weeks don’t be scared that people will think you are over dramatizing – go to the doctor. It’s your life.
‘Without treatment I would never have been able to watch my five grandchildren grow up, there is so much I would never have seen and I wouldn’t have done my MA in Film.’
NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the borough's two NHS foundation trusts are supporting the health initiative which encourages people to seek advice from their GP if they have any concerns.
Dr Marco Pieri is the CCG's lead GP for commissioning cancer services. He said: ‘Cancer is one of our key local priorities. We want to see more people diagnosed earlier so they have a better chance of having a successful course of treatment to fight the disease’.
Local community groups, libraries, leisure centres and pharmacies are amongst those who will be provided with information to highlight the need for people to visit their GP Practice if they have any of the signs and symptoms.
A cough that lasts for three weeks or more is the most common symptom of lung cancer. Other symptoms include:
• A cough that has got worse or changes
• Coughing up blood
• Feeling more tired than usual for some time
• Losing weight for no obvious reason
• An ache or pain in the chest or shoulder that has lasted some time
Dr Tony Baxter, Doncaster Council Director of Public Health, said: ‘It’s important for people to be aware of the symptoms of lung cancer - if you have a cough that lasts over three weeks then go to see your doctor. Early diagnosis means you have a better chance of survival.
‘You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked out – it might be a sign of something else that needs treatment. And if your symptoms persist, go back to your doctor – they’ll want to help.’
Retired Paul Herrod, 73, of Bentley, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008 after visiting his GP because of a persistent cough.
He said: ‘If anyone feels something is not quite right they should go and see their GP, I am well because I did.’
Today the grandfather enjoys spending time with his family and friends as well as caravan holidays and Country and Western Festivals.
Retired South Yorkshire Police Sergeant Barrie Scothern, 75, of Tickhill, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006 after visiting hospital for treatment after a fall.
The grandfather said: ‘If someone had a cough for more than three weeks I would take them down to the doctor myself if needs be.’
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