Lung cancer campaign to raise awareness and save lives

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info@newrytimes.com
Thursday, May 14th, 2015
Community
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in Northern Ireland, but early detection can improve the outcome for someone with the condition.
hief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride and Public Health Agency (PHA) Consultant Dr Miriam McCarthy join Marlene Murtagh, who had lung cancer, to launch the PHA's new campaign to raise awareness about the condition

hief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride and Public Health Agency (PHA) Consultant Dr Miriam McCarthy join Marlene Murtagh, who had lung cancer, to launch the PHA’s new campaign to raise awareness about the condition

With increasing numbers of people developing lung cancer, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is launching the next phase of its ‘Be Cancer Aware’ campaign, which will focus specifically on this type of cancer. This phase of the campaign aims to raise awareness of signs and symptoms of lung cancer and encourage people to speak to their GP if they experience any of them. Dr Miriam McCarthy, Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the PHA, said, “There were over 1,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed in Northern Ireland in 2013. “The illness is more common in people over 50 and in smokers, but around one in eight people with lung cancer has never smoked. “If lung cancer is diagnosed early, two in five patients will survive five years or more. However, when the diagnosis is made later on, only one in 50 will live this long. She added, “That is why it is vital to seek medical advice if you experience any symptoms which could indicate that you may have the condition.” Some of the common signs and symptoms of lung cancer include: • persistent cough (more than three weeks); • coughing up blood or blood-stained phlegm (sputum); • chest and/or shoulder pains; • tiredness and loss of energy; • weight loss (for no obvious reason); • shortness of breath or wheezing; • hoarse voice; • a change in shape at the end of your fingers (clubbing). Cancer can strike at any age, but almost 9 out of 10 cancers are diagnosed in people over 50, so that group in particular needs to be aware of how important it is to recognise any changes to their body and speak to their doctor if something isn’t right. To support the campaign, the PHA has developed a comprehensive new website at www.becancerawareni.info. The website provides information about cancer signs and symptoms, explains what to do if you’re concerned, and signposts to recommended sources of support or further information.

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