Coughing three weeks? Get lung cancer check, health chiefs say

Lung cancer kills more people in England than any other type of cancer, with around 34,800 deaths in the UK every year – 95 every day.

It is taking longer for lung cancer referrals to return to pre-pandemic levels, with fewer people coming forward for help. This must change.

This World Lung Cancer Day, the NHS is launching a Help Us Help You initiative, to raise awareness of the key symptoms and to urge people to speak to their GP, or to attend checks and scans.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the UK, with around 25,300 new cases every year, and it mostly affects those over the age of 60.

The earlier you spot cancer the better your chances of survival, so if you notice a symptom, don’t ignore it. Don’t be tempted to put it down to age or other problems – contact your GP immediately.

NHS mobile trucks have already helped to diagnose hundreds of people with lung cancer earlier, as part of the NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme.

We are continuing to improve outcomes for cancer patients across England and have a plan to slash cancer waiting times while beating the Covid backlogs.

We will roll out 160 community diagnostic centres – with over 90 already open and a million checks delivered – along with surgical hubs, 91 of which are now open.

We want 75 per cent of patients who have been urgently referred by their GP for suspected cancer either diagnosed or having cancer ruled out within 28 days – and we reached nearly 71 per cent in May.

Our aim is to raise the share of cancer patients diagnosed early from half to three-quarters by 2028.

So if you have a persistent cough for more than three weeks, get it checked – it could save your life.


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