Watch out for symptoms

Derbyshire County Council asks residents not to ignore signs of serious illness.
Derbyshire County Council asks residents not to ignore signs of serious illness.

Council chiefs have pledged their support to a new campaign to highlight the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease – all leading causes of death in England.

Public Health England has launched ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ a campaign to highlight two of the main symptoms of lung cancer and COPD – breathlessness and a persistent cough.

Latest figures show that 3,270 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in the East Midlands in 2014 and 2,472 people died from the disease.

Figures from June 2014 to June 2015 also revealed that 91,209 people are living with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and 166,954 with coronary heart disease.

Earlier diagnosis of these diseases has the potential to save lives. For instance, 83 per cent of people diagnosed with lung cancer at the earliest stage (stage one) will live for at least a year after diagnosis.

At the latest stage (stage four), this drops to 17 per cent.

Early diagnosis can also improve the quality of life of those living with conditions such as COPD.

A persistent cough or getting out of breath doing everyday tasks that you used to be able to do, such as mowing the lawn or vacuuming, could be a sign of lung cancer or other lung disease.

Breathlessness could be a sign of heart disease as well. The new campaign encourages anyone experiencing these symptoms to see their GP as finding these conditions early makes them more treatable.

Cabinet member for health and communities Councillor Dave Allen said: “We would urge anyone, but especially people aged over 50, who have experienced a persistent cough or gets out of breath easier than they used to, to visit their doctor for a check-up.

“Please don’t dismiss these symptoms. They could be nothing, but equally they could be potential signs of lung cancer, COPD and heart disease that can be easy to ignore.

“The sooner these diseases are spotted and patients start treatment, the greater the chance to save lives and help people manage these conditions.”

Find out more by visiting the webpagewww.nhs.uk/beclearoncancer