While it could be nothing to worry about, a persistent cough can be a sign of lung cancer.
Statistics show that since the launch of DCE, the percentage of patients diagnosed with the earliest stage of lung cancer (stage 1) in Scotland has increased by 39.2 per cent, and by even more amongst those living in the most deprived areas (43.3 per cent).
The survival rate for those diagnosed at an early stage is almost 20 times higher than for those diagnosed at a late stage 2. This means that due to advances in treatments and increased rates of early detection, more people than ever in Scotland are surviving lung cancer.
Sir Alex Ferguson, who lost his parents to lung cancer and who fronts the Scottish Government’s lung cancer campaign said: “If you’re worried about yourself or a loved one because of a persistent cough lasting three weeks or more then don’t delay in making a GP appointment. If it’s found early then there is a lot that can be done to treat lung cancer.”
Dr Kirsten Cassidy, NHS Grampian Lead GP for Cancer at Grampian Health Board, said: “If you’ve had a cough for three weeks or more, it’s definitely worth getting checked out with your GP. It’s more than likely nothing to worry about, but it’s best not to take the chance as the sooner that lung cancer is detected the more that can be done to treat it. Don’t worry about wasting anyone’s time, your doctor is there to help you.”
Seeing your GP about a persistent cough is not a waste of their time. Don’t get scared, get checked. For more information visit: www.getcheckedearly.org.