NHS Ayrshire & Arran is encouraging people who have tested negative for COVID-19, but have a persistent new or different cough for three weeks or more, to contact their GP practice.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran has backed the Scottish Government Detect Cancer Early campaign, as national statistics show around 25 per cent fewer lung cancers are being diagnosed now, compared to pre-COVID-19.
The advertising campaign targets those aged 40 and over, urging them not to put off contacting their GP practice if they have any possible cancer symptoms.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland, with around 5,000 people diagnosed each year.
However, more can be done to treat the disease if it’s found at an early stage – and recently published cancer survival statistics show improvements in five-year survival rates for both men and women (2.3 per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively).
‘This important campaign will hopefully encourage more people to contact their GP practice if they are concerned about a potential lung cancer symptom,’ said Dr Crawford McGuffie, Medical Director, NHS Ayrshire & Arran..
‘Whilst it’s probably nothing to worry about, it’s worth getting a persistent new or different cough checked, as it can be a sign of lung cancer. Finding lung cancer early makes it easier to treat, and improves your chance of survival.
‘You won’t be wasting anyone’s time, so don’t put off contacting your GP practice. They want to hear from you.’
‘Diagnosing and treating cancer has been and will remain a key priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,’ added Health Secretary, Jeane Freeman.
‘Early detection is key and we’re encouraging people, especially those aged over 40, to contact their GP practice if they’ve tested negative for COVID-19, but have a persistent new or different cough that’s lasted three weeks or more.
‘I want to reassure people that whilst the NHS is working differently, and they may not be able to see their GP in person, their practice is there to help them access key tests and support them through the process.
‘Please don’t delay seeking help as the earlier lung cancer is found the better, and a lot can be done to treat it.’
For more information, visit getcheckedearly.org.