Is someone you know gasping for breath?

Check Your Lungs

A new campaign funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research is being launched that calls upon people in Hull to look and listen out for signs that someone they know might need a lung health check.

The campaign launched at Bransholme Health Centre on Friday 5th April with health specialists and campaign ambassadors unveiling campaign materials that have been developed with local people over the past few months.

Developed as part of the charity’s ‘People Hull’ programme, led by Hull York Medical School, the ‘Check Your Lungs’ campaign encourages people to look out for people they know who might be experiencing breathlessness as well as listening out for symptoms such as a persistent cough. The message from People Hull is that anyone showing symptoms that could be an early sign of lung cancer should be encouraged to make an appointment with their GP, visit a walk-in centre or call GP Access+ on 01482 247111.

People Hull is a community health programme led by Professor Una Macleod, Dean of Hull York Medical School and a national leader in cancer and early diagnosis research. Made possible by an investment of over £700,000 from Yorkshire Cancer Research, the campaign aims to change the way cancer is understood, diagnosed and treated with a particular focus on early diagnosis to improve outcomes for people in Hull.

Professor Macleod says: “We believe patient centred cancer research will help us to improve outcomes for those living with cancer in our region. The People Hull programme team has worked extensively with our local communities to better understand their attitudes to lung health, their knowledge of symptoms and to identify the barriers preventing them from seeking help. There are a range of symptoms that when seen or heard suggest that someone ought to get a check. We want to encourage members of the community to visit their GP – It might give you peace of mind, it might even save your life.”

The main symptoms indicating that someone might need a lung check include: a cough that doesn’t go away after three weeks, a long-standing cough that gets worse, coughing up blood, an ache or pain when breathing or coughing, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss, persistent chest infections, breathlessness and tiredness or lack of energy.

Dr Gavin Anderson, Respiratory Lead on Lung Cancer at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS says: “Often people are nervous about going to their GP with these symptoms as they feel they are wasting the GPs time, or they assume the worst and believe it is Lung Cancer and that nothing can be done. However, we would like to challenge this. Developments in medicine mean that even something as serious as lung cancer is treatable if caught early. If anyone has even one of the symptoms listed it is worth getting a lung check.”

The project will help Yorkshire Cancer Research achieve its goal of improving outcomes for patients living with cancer in Yorkshire.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Cancer Research, says: “Our goal at Yorkshire Cancer Research is to save 2,000 more lives in Yorkshire every year by 2025. Two thirds of lung cancer patients in Hull are diagnosed at a late stage but we know we can have a significant impact by making sure people know how to spot the signs and symptoms of cancer and when to see their doctor. It’s so important to find cancers early when they can be treated successfully.

“This campaign forms part of larger investment of over £4.9millon in Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull to tackle cancer inequalities in Hull and the wider region. We are delighted to be working in partnership to deliver life changing research which will help transform cancer outcomes for patients across our region.”

The campaign launched at Bransholme Health Centre on the morning of Friday 5th April with a roadshow taking place at North Point Shopping Centre in the afternoon. From there, a campaign of community events, advertising and case studies made with local survivors will run throughout 2019 to help local people understand the symptoms they should be looking and listening for, whilst showing them how they can help others get a lung check that could save their lives.

For more information about symptoms and how to get a lung check, visit www.checkyourlungs.co.uk.

[John Gilbert – Eskimosoup]

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