Cancer campaign pays off (From St Helens Star)

by Symptom Advice on December 20, 2011

Cancer campaign pays off

10:00am Friday 16th December 2011 in News

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MORE people are recognising their own symptoms of breast, bowel and lung cancer throughout St Helens, according to new research.

These three diseases remain the biggest cause of early death from cancer in the borough.

in 2008 an early detection programme called Get Checked was launched by the NHS Health Improvement Team to help publicise the key symptoms of these cancers to local people.

in January this year a hard-hitting Get Checked campaign, including a publicity drive in the St Helens Star, hit the streets of St Helens, with a key focus of encouraging the public to speak up about any breast, bowel or lung cancer symptoms they may have and not to be embarrassed about seeing their doctor.

Mel Forrest, a GP who specialises in early detection of cancer for the NHS in St Helens, says the Get checked campaign is making a real difference.

“It’s great to see people are really starting to take note of this life-saving campaign, as Get Checked continues to deliver first-class results for St Helens.

“The more we shout out about key cancer symptoms the more the public will instantly recognise them seek advice from their doctor.

“We all know if cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the treatments on offer are much more effective.”

Dympna Edwards, interim director of public health for Halton and St Helens, said: “The results from this survey are extremely encouraging.

“The Get Checked early detection of cancer programme and its volunteers are changing people’s outlook on cancer.

“I would urge everyone to understand what’s right for their own body, and if they have any worrying symptom to not feel embarrassed, but to go to their GP and get checked.”

Around 10,000 people die in England each year because their cancer is diagnosed too late.

the NHS advises concerned individuals to see their doctor if they have had one of the following tell-tale warning signs of cancer for more than three weeks.

do you have any of these key bowel cancer symptoms?

Bleeding from your bottom – either in the toilet, in your stools, or when wiping.

Going to the toilet more often or your stools being more watery than usual for over three weeks.

Pain in your stomach that happens most days, lasts for more than a few minutes and isn’t helped by going to the toilet.

do you have any of these key breast cancer symptoms?

a lump in your breast or armpit.

a change in the appearance of your breast or nipple – such as skin dimpling or denting.

Discharge from one of your nipples – possibly blood-stained.

do you have any of these key lung cancer symptoms?

a persistent cough you’ve had for more than three weeks.

Coughing up blood – any amount of blood in your spit or phlegm should be checked out straight away.

Shortness of breath – feeling very out of breath, or more out of breath than is normal for you.

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