Public Health England and health charities want to raise awareness about the warning signs of lung conditions, including cancer and heart disease.
Public Health England (PHE) is concerned that there is a good percentage of the population who might be suffering from these without even being aware of it. They estimate the figure to be around 1.7 million with 80,000 people having undiagnosed lung cancer, a million with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and 600,000 with coronary heart disease.
A new campaign warns that anyone with persistent cough, or who gets out of breath doing simple things like running for a bus or mowing the lawn should immediately see their doctor. All three illnesses are the leading causes of death in the country.
Health Minister Jane Ellison was quoted as saying, “Sadly, diagnosis often comes too late, which can have a devastating impact on those living with any of these conditions, as well as those close to them. The more people we can encourage to get their symptoms checked, the more likely they are to be diagnosed earlier and treated successfully.”
PHE is launching the next phase of the “Be Clear on Cancer campaign” relating to lung cancer as lung cancer alone accounts for around 28,400 deaths every year. But it is also motivating people with initial signs of lung disease or heart disease to get checked so as to be on the safer side. The campaign predominantly aims at men and women aged 50 and over as they fall in the most risky zone.
Professor Kevin Fenton, PHE’s National Director for Health and Well-Being said: “The estimated number of people with undiagnosed lung cancer, lung disease or heart disease is deeply concerning. If diagnosed early, these diseases can be managed and treated successfully. This campaign will help people recognize the symptoms and encourage them to seek help, potentially saving lives from what are three of the biggest causes of death in England.”
They are advising that anyone with a cough for three weeks or more should go and see their GP to get it checked It just takes a little time of yours and nothing else to make that appointment, but making it timely can possibly save your life.