NHS Grampian is highlighting the importance of getting potential lung cancer symptoms checked as part of a new campaign.
Detect Cancer Early has been launched after research by Public Health Scotland revealed around 25% fewer lung cancers are being diagnosed now compared to before Covid-19.
This, coupled with the fear of a potential cancer diagnosis continues to stop people acting early, when there are more treatment options available and the chance of survival is higher.
Now NHS Grampian is urging those over 40 who have a new or different persistent cough, or unusual breathlessness, for three weeks or more are being urged to not let lung cancer “settle in” by contacting their GP practice without delay.
The importance of early diagnosis
Dr Kirsten Cassidy, lead cancer GP for the health board, said that the sooner lung cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.
“Diagnosing and treating cancer is a priority for the NHS, and this vital campaign drives home the importance of acting early if you have possible lung cancer symptoms,” she said.
“GP practices are working differently due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with initial appointments carried out over the telephone or by video. Measures are in place to ensure your safety if a face-to-face appointment is needed for further examination or tests.
“Whilst lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland, with around 5,500 new cases diagnosed in every year, there’s lots that can be done to treat it. So please don’t delay contacting your GP practice if you are concerned.”
Detect Cancer Early Campaign
The £43million programme was formally launched in February 2012 to raise awareness of the various screening programmes available across the country.
Officials hope the drive would improve cancer survival by diagnosing and treating the disease at an earlier stage.
Over the last nine years, the proportion of lung cancer diagnoses at the earliest stage have gone up by 43%, and 57% in the most deprived areas of Scotland.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “More people are surviving cancer than ever before, but we know that fear of cancer is putting people off getting checked or attending screening, when invited.
“Don’t ignore early cancer signs and symptoms, and certainly don’t delay getting checked.
“While it’s probably nothing to worry about, a quicker diagnosis can mean less worry. If cancer is confirmed, more treatment options are available if it’s found early.”
For more information on lung cancer signs and symptoms, visit getcheckedearly.org