NHS England launch ‘Help us, Help you’ cancer awareness campaign
“It’s incredibly important that people recognise the common symptoms that can signal a cancer diagnosis – and it’s vital that they take action by making an appointment with their GP, that could ultimately save their life.” NHS England Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard
NHS England has launched a new campaign ‘Help us, Help you’ to raise awareness of symptoms in the abdominal area, urological cancers and lung cancer.
Figures from the NHS have indicated that despite these cancers accounting for 44% of all cancer diagnoses and two in five cancer deaths in England, many people are unaware of common warning signs.
Sixty three per cent of people said they did not recognise discomfort in the abdominal area for three or more weeks as an indication of cancer.
Two in five people do not recognise that a persistent cough for more than three weeks is a sign of the disease. Additionally, there are concerns that this symptom could be confused for COVID-19.
Research shows that three in five people (60%) are concerned about burdening the NHS, with half (49%) saying they would delay seeking medical advice compared to before the pandemic.
Around a quarter of a million people were checked for cancer in June, the second highest number on record, and treatment numbers have been back at usual levels since March. More than 27,000 people started treatment for cancer in June, a 42% increase on the same time last year.
NHS England Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard has said there could be tens of thousands more people who are not coming forward, either because they’re unaware of common cancer symptoms, or because they feel they would burden the NHS.
She said: “It’s incredibly important that people recognise the common symptoms that can signal a cancer diagnosis – and it’s vital that they take action by making an appointment with their GP, that could ultimately save their life.”
Health Minister, Lord Bethell, said: “No one should be deterred from seeking potentially life-saving diagnosis and treatment.”
Future Care Capital has reported on NHS England’s pilot scheme during the pandemic to test colon capsule endoscopy cameras which can be swallowed by patients to test for cancer. Read here.