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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

New Lung Cancer Detection Campaign launched

‘Settling In’ is a new Detect Cancer Early (DCE) campaign encouraging people to contact their GP if they have a new or different persistent cough or unusual breathlessness for three weeks or more, which could be the early signs of lung cancer, in a determined effort to return to pre-pandemic cancer detection levels.

It’s important to be checked, especially if you’re over 40. While lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland, with around 5,500 new cases diagnosed every year, more people than ever survive the disease thanks to improved treatments and earlier diagnosis.

The campaign has been developed in response to Public Health Scotland’s data that show around 25% fewer lung cancers are being diagnosed now compared to pre-COVID-19. This, coupled with the fear of a potential cancer diagnosis, continues to stop people acting early.

Since the launch of our £43 million DCE Programme, the proportion of lung cancer diagnoses at the earliest stage has increased by 43%, and by 57% in the most deprived areas of Scotland.

Professional snooker referee Leo Scullion, 63, originally from Glasgow but treated in Ayrshire, was diagnosed in July 2014 and started treatment in September 2014 with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Following a period of recovery, Leo returned to the snooker circuit in 2017. He was told his cancer was in remission in December 2019, five years after his diagnosis - the same year he reached the pinnacle of his career, officiating his first World Championship final. He said:

“I was aware I was coughing, but it became noticeable to those around me. I was in China for a tournament and put it down to the smog at that time, and the fact I was a smoker.

“I had other symptoms which I now know were warning signs. I was waking up in the middle of the night with terrible sweats, and by the time I came back home, I was feeling pretty horrible. Looking back, I think I knew there was something more going on. Your body just tells you."

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“If you notice any unusual changes to your health, or are worried about someone close to you, please go and get checked. It really is that simple. The sooner they can find out what is wrong, the better.

“And, of course, if you smoke, please quit!”

The campaign advert will run on TV, radio and online.



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