What are your views on lung cancer awareness activity by the government?

This week the Department of health will re-launch the "Be Clear on cancer" lung cancer campaign. This autumn the Scottish government will launch the "Detect Cancer early" lung cancer campaign.

What do you think of the effort to increase the public awareness of symptoms?

Does your experience of diagnosis highlight any ways the system could be improved?

14 Replies

  • I think we should start with the GPs. Some of them are hopeless in recognising the signs. My sister went back three times and was told she had depression despite presenting with consistent shoulder pain, hoarseness, extreme weight loss and a smoker.

    I haven't seen the campaign but it needs to mention more than a cough because my sister didn't and still doesn't really have one. It was the shoulder pain and the hoarseness that were the real symptoms for her.

  • Haven't seen or heard of this campaign so they are not doing a great job. I hope it isn't just targeted at smokers because we all know that is not true. My wife was a smoker and she went to hospital with loss of feeling in the face she was fit and went to the gym, tests eventually showed NSCLC. So I agree with Yhp22 it is not just a cough that is a sign of Lung Cancer and it is not just smokers who get it..

  • I think people should be made more Awaren OF lung cancer and people that smoke should be told that smokeing around people that have had lung cancer like my self is harmful to them

  • Last years campaign was what made me go to the doctor after putting ti off for a couple of months and I was diagnosed with Lung Canacer. Any publicity has to be good


  • Hi Suesal123, I'm looking to speak to people who were diagnosed as a result of the lung cancer awareness campaign, who might be interested in sharing their story via the media for lung cancer awareness month in November. If it sounds like something you would like to know more about drop me a line at emma.gunby@roycastle.org or call 0333 323 7200 ext 9190

  • Likewise, last years campaign also made me visit my doctor which turned out to be cancer otherwise I think I would have left it for longer before reporting it. I do believe that this should be an ongoing campaign and if it saves just one life then it will have been worth it. For some it is hard to fit in a doctors appointment due to work and family commitments plus Drs waiting times and that's why I think it has to be a hard hitting campaign that will urge people to get a niggling cough checked out and not be palmed off with cough medicines but to push for an X-ray. Moni

  • Hi Harrypalmer, I'm looking to speak to people who were diagnosed as a result of the lung cancer awareness campaign, who might be interested in sharing their story via the media for lung cancer awareness month in November. If it sounds like something you would like to know more about drop me a line at emma.gunby@roycastle.org or call 0333 323 7200 ext 9190

  • I agree with Yhp22, start with the GP's they need to have more awareness, and learn how to LISTEN and HEAR their patients.

    Any campaign to draw awareness to Lung Cancer is a must....and as Moni states ongoing, everyone I've spoken to think its only applicable to smokers, which we know is untrue.

    Its needs to be a little more hard-hitting to make people sit up and listen. Karen

  • I was personally involved with last years "Detect Cancer Early" campaign.I was at the launch in Springburn Health Centre meeting up with Scotland's then Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon with two other cancer survivors.The media were in full attendance,and we all appeared the following day in many of Scotlands national newspapers.The campaign also included a TV advert also a radio broadcast,which was played for some weeks on radio Clyde.Such publicity drives are worthwhile,however,they are a "flash in the pan",and therefore require to be repeated at least once a year in the national media.

    Raising Awareness of the Symptoms of Lung Cancer is so important since we do know,the earlier a diagnosis in made in a patient the better the chances of patients receiving curative treatments.

    A couple of years ago,the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation produced an excellent poster on raising awareness of the symptoms of lung cancer,I had two of these posters of A2 size,one of them I took to Monklands Hospital,to ask if I could have the poster displayed in a prominent position within the hospital,I received such approval and I attached the poster to a noticeboard at the hospitals entrance area,sadly it has since disappeared from its displayboard,however I did take the other poster to my local chemist,(Monklands Pharmacy) and asked the manager if she could display this poster in a prominent position within the shop,true to her word the manager displayed the poster on a wall just behind the till,I was in the chemist today and the poster remains in location,every customer will have seen this poster and read its message whilst waiting to pay for their prescriptions.

    This type of publicity is not "Flash in a Pan" it is more of constantly "In Your Face",I think every Health Centre,Doctors Surgery,Hospital Waiting Rooms etc,etc should have a poster describing the early signs of Lung Cancer,for the benefit of not only the general public but health professionals such as nurses and doctors.

  • Last years campaign made the public more aware of lung cancer and the signs and symptoms and that early detection saves lives. At awareness events I attended it became apparent that the tv adverts had had an impact, people came up to us and actually talked about the campaign and took the RCLCF literature. The campaign this month can only be good but could be a bit more proactive and stress that anyone can suffer from lung cancer regardless of age, gender or whether they have a history of smoking.

  • Thank you all for your comments, they are very helpful. We will feed these into the Department of Health in both countries. As is clear from the thread this is a complicated effort that needs sustained and combined approaches. We are looking at how we can better raise awareness with primary care as a back up for the guidelines and formal support from the DOH.

    We will continue to build awareness through Lung Cancer Awareness Month; on-going media articles on lung cancer and our efforts to raise awareness in the community through our Outreach activity.

    We appreciate you sharing your experience and if you want to be more involved in our activities moving forward do get in touch.

    best wishes


  • I agree with all of the above particularly the getting GPs on board with recognising symptoms in not only smokers but non smokers too. I also feel the general public are generally completely unaware of early symptoms. They know about the 'coughing' but this is usually a latter symptom where only palliative care is an option. The 'in your face' poster in prominent positions, chemists GP surgery's mentioned in the comments by ericbyme above, are more affective. I also think we need to stop putting the non smokers in the background and almost apologising for the fact that they are non smokers, people need to believe that 'it could be them' that is why the breast cancer campaign was so successful, people believed it could be any one of 50% of the population. Well guess what 100% of the population have lungs, scare tactics I am afraid are necessary if anything is to change in the awareness of lung cancer and the funding for research. People need to believe it could be their brother sister, mum wife husband dad etc Not just believe 'we are okay if we don't smoke' which sadly is the conclusion a lot of the publicity brings them too

  • Not all GP surgeries are willing to display posters or have literature available for patients to take take away. This is a quite problem in getting the message across especially when a "Commissioning" GP is quite dismissive of the efforts of people trying to raise awareness.

  • Hey all... here in Aussie we get no support from our Gov't.... all we get on tele advertising is "smoking kills" campaigns..which is so damn wrong....Lung cancer can get to ANYONE who has lungs.

    I have had full pneumonectomy of left lung (2010) ..... and back in Jan/Feb 2011 I called all the hospitals in Sydney to find out where there were support groups for Lung Cancer patients....you know what responce I got...1 face to face group in the whole od Sydney ...I mean come on..... we need to talk to people who are going thru what we are going thru....Face to Face not on a damn phone..I get so angry when smoking is blamed for all.. when the Gov't racks in the millions for it.. and don't put it back to research..etc....

    I have a group on face book "Lung Cancer Awareness in Australia" you are invited to have a look if you want.....

    Ok so I used to smoke... so what.... our Gov't gave ciggies to our troops in bioth 1st and 2nd WW and probably the later ones as well.. but won't help people or put back into helping research...

    There my rant for today

    Hugs to all xoxo

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