03 July 2013

If you have been coughing for three weeks, it’s time to see your doctor – that’s the simple message from the Be Clear on Cancer campaign.

About lung cancer

Anyone can develop lung cancer. It affects both men and women and is more common in older age, with 97% of people diagnosed aged over 50.

Lung cancer is England’s biggest cancer killer and has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer. This is because over two-thirds of patients are diagnosed too late; in fact, it’s estimated that 1,300 deaths from lung cancer could be avoided each year.

A persistent three-week cough can be an early symptom of lung cancer that will usually require an urgent referral for a chest X-ray.

Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, Councillor Robin Brown said: “People can put off getting symptoms checked out for lots of different reasons. They might worry about wasting the doctor’s time. Or, if they think it could be cancer, people are often frightened of finding out or are scared of treatment.

“If you have had a cough for three weeks or more, it’s definitely worth visiting your doctor. Or if you know a friend or family member who has had a cough for three weeks, do them a favour and encourage them to make a doctor’s appointment. The chances are it’s nothing serious, but if there is something wrong, early detection could make all the difference.”

The Be Clear on Cancer campaign

The Be Clear on Cancer campaign is being run by Public Health England during July and August. The campaign includes television, radio, press and other advertising such as pharmacy bags as well as face-to-face events in various locations across England.