Public Health England News and Media

06 Jul 2017

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND CAMPAIGN IN THE SOUTH WEST RAISES AWARENESS FOR SYMPTOMS OF LUNG CANCER, LUNG DISEASE AND HEART DISEASE

PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND CAMPAIGN IN THE SOUTH WEST RAISES AWARENESS FOR SYMPTOMS OF LUNG CANCER, LUNG DISEASE AND HEART DISEASE: BCOC roadshow pic 4
  • Campaign urges people in South West to see a GP if they have breathlessness or a persistent cough, as these are key symptoms of these diseases
  • Call comes as new survey reveals that people in the South West are more likely to encourage others to seek medical help than go themselves
  • Early diagnosis is vital to save lives and improve quality of life

Public Health England (PHE) has launched a ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign in the South West urging people to see a doctor if they are getting out of breath doing things they used to be able to do or if they’ve had a cough for three weeks or more.

Breathlessness or a persistent cough can be signs of lung disease or lung cancer. Breathlessness can also be a sign of heart disease. These diseases are some of the leading causes of death in England, causing more than 150,000 deaths each year combined.[i][1] 

Early diagnosis can save lives and improve the quality of life of those living with conditions, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a common form of lung disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The most recent data shows that in the South West there are 107,326 people who have been diagnosed with COPD[ii] and 198,227 people who have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease (CHD), the main type of heart disease.[iii] In 2015, 3688 people were diagnosed with lung cancer.[iv]

The campaign is aimed at men and women aged 50 and above as these people are most at risk of lung cancer, COPD and heart disease. As well as prompting anyone who experiences these symptoms to visit their GP, the campaign calls on people to look out for each other and encourage friends and family to visit the GP if they have either of these symptoms.

This call comes as a new survey found that adults over 50 in the South West are more likely to encourage others to see the doctor than go themselves: 

  • 88% would urge their friends and family to visit their GP with these symptoms;
  • Only 67% would contact their GP if they experienced the symptoms themselves.

The survey also found that in the South West 33% of people would wait for a month or longer before visiting the GP if they experienced breathlessness doing everyday things and 56% would wait over a month before speaking to their GP if they had a persistent cough.

The campaign reassures individuals that they would not be wasting their GP’s time by getting their symptoms checked out; something that 38% of adults surveyed in the region said they would be worried about.

Debbie Stark, Deputy Centre Director for PHE South West said:

 “In 2015, we know that 3688 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in the South West. We would like to see earlier diagnosis of these conditions across the region. Recognising the symptoms of these diseases and going to the doctor promptly can lead to an earlier diagnosis where these conditions are more treatable.  

“Coughing for three weeks or more or becoming breathless doing things you used to be able to do, could be a sign of something serious, so it is important to get them checked out.”

Jane Hill from Bristol who has lung cancer said:

"I suffered from a persistent cough for several months, but it wasn't until I started feeling breathless too that I went to see my doctor. I didn't know that a cough could be a sign of something serious, and I assumed that it was a result of my old smoking habit.

“I would urge anybody who has been suffering from a persistent cough or feeling breathless to go and see their doctor, as an early diagnosis can make all the difference."

Jane, Bristol
Jane, Bristol

Dr Dawn Harper, who is supporting the campaign, comments: “People may put off visiting their GP for a number of reasons. Some may not think getting out of breath doing everyday things could be a sign of something serious, they may put a persistent cough down to an infection, they may be fearful of what they will find out, or even worry about wasting their GP’s time. In many cases, it won’t be anything serious, but it’s so important that people don’t ignore their symptoms or put off a trip to the doctor. You won’t be wasting our time - we want to see you and we want to help.”

A Be Clear on Cancer roadshow will be visiting the South West to raise awareness of the signs of heart disease, lung cancer and lung disease and to encourage those with symptoms to visit their GP. 

The roadshow team, which includes a nurse, will be handing out leaflets and talking to anyone who has any questions.  The team will also be speaking to people about recognising the symptoms in others, as they can play a key part in encouraging loved ones to see their GP.

The roadshow will be stopping at shopping centres’ across the country and will be visiting a number of locations across the South West, including:

  • Guildhall, Exeter  10th and 11th July
  • Atlantic Village, Bideford  12th and 13 July
  • Broadwalk, Knowle, Bristol  14th and 15 July

The ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign runs until 31 August 2017.  For further information about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease, search ‘Be Clear on Cancer’

A CASE STUDY FROM BRISTOL IS AVAILABLE FOR INTEVRIEW:

Please contact freuds to arrange:Tel: 0203 003 6527. Out of hours: (0)7912 515997

Email: beclearoncancer@freuds.com

 

South West Regional Statistics - Appendix 1 

 COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease –

SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND

CCG name

Registered
2015-2016

NHS DORSET CCG

15,229

NHS BRISTOL CCG

8,460

NHS KERNOW CCG

11,855

NHS NORTH SOMERSET CCG

4,352

NHS SOMERSET CCG

11,972

NHS SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE CCG

4,023

NHS NORTHERN, EASTERN AND WESTERN DEVON CCG

18,647

NHS SOUTH DEVON AND TORBAY CCG

6,712

NHS BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET CCG

2,822

NHS GLOUCESTERSHIRE CCG

11,020

NHS SWINDON CCG

3,926

NHS WILTSHIRE CCG

8,308

South West Total

107,326

England

1,066,471

 Please note: “Registered cases” is the number of people registered with a GP practice in the CCG who have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Data source: Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) - 2015-16   Publication date: October 27, 2016.

Access via: http://www.content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB22266

     

 CHD - Coronary Heart Disease

 

CHD - Coronary Heart Disease - South West ENGLAND

CCG name

Register
2015-2016

NHS DORSET CCG

32,662

NHS BRISTOL CCG

11,462

NHS KERNOW CCG

22,494

NHS NORTH SOMERSET CCG

7,912

NHS SOMERSET CCG

21,315

NHS SOUTH GLOUCESTERSHIRE CCG

7,877

NHS NORTHERN, EASTERN AND WESTERN DEVON CCG

34,845

NHS SOUTH DEVON AND TORBAY CCG

11,259

NHS BATH AND NORTH EAST SOMERSET CCG

5,716

NHS GLOUCESTERSHIRE CCG

20,238

NHS SWINDON CCG

6,370

NHS WILTSHIRE CCG

16,077

South West Total

198,227

England

1,839,330

 Please note:

“Registered cases” is the number of people registered with a GP practice in the CCG who have been diagnosed with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Data source: Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) - 2015-16   Publication date: October 27, 2016. Access via: http://www.content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB22266

Lung cancer regional statistics -  SOUTH WEST OF ENGLAND

Area Team and CCG

Total number of lung cancer cases diagnosed 2015

Total number of lung cancer deaths registered 2015

Male

Female

Persons

Male

Female

Persons

NHS Bath and North East Somerset

55

43

98

40

29

69

NHS Gloucestershire

206

167

373

183

119

302

NHS Swindon

69

72

141

53

56

109

NHS Wiltshire

150

132

282

130

100

230

NHS Bristol

142

106

248

100

69

169

NHS Kernow

232

171

403

157

142

299

NHS North Somerset

65

75

140

58

51

109

NHS North, East, West Devon

376

315

691

290

203

493

NHS Somerset

198

177

375

150

123

273

NHS South Devon and Torbay

129

97

226

76

64

140

NHS South Gloucestershire

83

60

143

54

50

104

NHS Dorset

306

262

568

230

167

397

South West Total

2011

1677

3688

1521

1173

2694

England

20,022

17,619

37,641

15,509

13,077

28,586

 

  • “Total number of lung cancer cases diagnosed in 2015” is the number of people who were registered diagnosed with lung cancer in each Clinical Commissioning Group area in 2015
  • “Total number of lung cancer deaths registered in 2015” is the number of people who died from lung cancer in each Clinical Commissioning Group area in 2015

 

Contact Information

Casey Bodman
Communications and Press Officer, PHE South West
Public Health England
0117 9689212
Casey.Bodman@phe.gov.uk

Notes to editors

Notes to Editors

  1. Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation's health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Website: gov.uk/phe. Twitter: @PHE_uk, Facebook: www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland
  2. Be Clear on Cancer campaigns are run by Public Health England in partnership with the Department of Health and NHS England.
  3. Be Clear on Cancer campaigns, which aim to raise public awareness of the symptoms of cancer and encourage earlier presentation, are included in the Report of the Independent Cancer Taskforce “Achieving World-Class Cancer Outcomes: A Strategy for England 2015 – 2020”. The campaigns also form part of Public Health England’s Annual Business Plan for 2017-18.
  4. Celebrity supporters of this campaign include Arlene Philips, Dame Esther Rantzen and Lucy Briers. Quotes include:

Arlene Phillips, whose best friend died from lung cancer, is supporting the campaign and comments: “My best friend, Molly Molloy, passed away last year from lung cancer. She had this cough that didn’t seem to go away, but every time I asked her about it she said it was a virus and it would go – we had no idea that the cough was a symptom of something more serious until it was too late. This campaign is so important and I hope everyone takes note - if you have a cough that has lasted for three weeks or more, go and see your doctor, don’t ignore it. Or if you notice a friend or loved one who has had a cough for longer than three weeks, push them to see the GP. It could save their life.”

Dame Esther Rantzen, whose late husband had heart disease, comments: “My husband was diagnosed with heart disease in 1986. We were very lucky he went to see the GP when he first had symptoms, because it enabled him to be treated and he could manage his condition. It gave us 15 extra years we might not have had, which I am so grateful for. Everyone gets breathless now and again, but if it feels unusual or you’re getting out of breath doing everyday things, you must go and see the GP – don’t put these symptoms down to old age or think it’s just because of your lifestyle. It might be something more serious and early diagnosis can make a huge difference. Also if you notice changes in loved ones - if you notice them getting out of breath doing things they used to do fine - give them the nudge to visit their doctor. It really could make a huge difference.” 

Lucy Briers, whose father Richard Briers had lung disease, said: “My father, Richard Briers had COPD, which is a form of lung disease. We didn't know very much about lung disease before my father’s diagnosis - sadly I don’t think many people do until they know someone who has been affected. But we knew that it was a chronic condition and the sooner you are given a diagnosis the better. With the help of his doctor, the exercises and the medication that he was on, my father was able to carry on living his life as normal for several years after his diagnosis – he even did a play. My message to you is don’t be afraid, go and see the GP if you notice you are getting out of breath or you have a cough that’s lasted for three weeks or more – this is your body telling you something could be wrong and you need to get to the GP. Of course, it might not be anything serious, but if it is, a diagnosis and treatment can make a huge difference.”

  1. Pictures, quotes and video footage of celebrity ambassadors can be found via this dropbox link: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/1em52vxht61ixy6/AAD-rTzW6sdopIh_Wv_mXJkka?dl=0
  2. Interview opportunities with Public Health England, HCPs and case studies are available upon request
  3. Additional spokespeople quotes:

Professor Chris Harrison, National Clinical Director for Cancer at NHS England, said: “The good news is that cancer survival rates are now at their highest ever, and earlier diagnosis and treatment will help us make further gains for the 150,000 people who die of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease in England each year.

“The earlier people are diagnosed, the better their chances, and that’s why campaigns like this – which help people understand what symptoms to look out for and when to visit the GP – are so important.”

Professor Mike Morgan, National Clinical Director for Respiratory Services comments:

“As the National Clinical Director responsible for respiratory services I am constantly striving to reduce the number of deaths from lung disease. People may not realise that getting out of breath easily or developing a persistent cough could be a sign of something serious. These signs shouldn’t be brushed aside - getting help early, rather than waiting until the problem gets worse, is vital.”  

Professor Huon Gray, National Clinical Director for Heart Disease from NHS England commented:  

“Coronary heart disease is the single biggest cause of death in England, accounting for around 12% of all deaths annually.[i] If we are to improve patient outcomes in England, it is critical that we raise awareness of the symptoms associated with this condition. The earlier heart disease is diagnosed, the better – treatment can help manage the symptoms, reduce disability and prevent cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke.”

Dr Matt Kearney, National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention from NHS England commented:  

“Over 150,000 deaths in England each year are attributed to heart disease, lung disease and lung cancer. With such a high number of deaths being down to these diseases, we need to take action so we are delighted that Public Health England is running this campaign.  It’s crucial that people are aware of the signs and symptoms, to give those with these diseases the best chance of an early diagnosis.”

  1. The campaign includes national TV, radio, digital and out of home advertising, together with face to face events in venues such as shopping centres.
  2. Symptoms of lung disease (including lung cancer) and heart disease include:
    1. A persistent cough that lasts three weeks or more
    2. Getting out of breath doing things that you used to be able to do, such as:
      • Vacuuming
      • Mowing the lawn
      • Walking at a normal pace (and struggling to keep up with friends)
      • Moving from the sofa to make a cup of tea
      • Dressing and undressing yourself
      • Climbing short flights of stairs
    3. A cough that has got worse or changes
    4. Frequent chest infections
    5. Coughing up blood
    6. Chest pain or shoulder pain
    7. Wheezing
    8. Feeling more tired than usual for some time
    9. Losing weight for no obvious reason

If you have any of these symptoms, tell your doctor.

Source: Incidence and mortality data supplied by Public Health England, based on the National Cancer Registration Service dataset and Analysis Service, March 2017.

[i] Mortality statistics - underlying cause, sex and age I20-I25 Ischaemic heart diseases 2013-2015: ONS Crown Copyright Reserved [from Nomis on 5 June 2017] https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/.

 [1] The research was conducted via an online survey by Kantar Public. A nationally representative sample of 3,000 adults aged 50-89 were interviewed from April 11th – 19th 2017, including 300 from the South West: http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/tns-polling-archive   

[1] Mortality statistics - underlying cause, sex and age C33-C34 Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung,I05-I09 Chronic rheumatic heart diseases,I10-I15 Hypertensive diseases,I20-I25 Ischaemic heart diseases,I26-I52 Other heart diseases,J40-J47 Chronic lower respiratory diseases,J60-J70 Lung diseases due to external agents,J80-J84 Other respiratory diseases principally affecting the interstitium,J85-J86, Suppurative and necrotic conditions of lower respiratory tract, J90-J94 Other diseases of pleura    ONS Crown Copyright Reserved [from Nomis on 13 June 2017]

[1] Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) - 2015-16   Publication date: October 27, 2016. Access via: http://www.content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB22266

[1] Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) - 2015-16   Publication date: October 27, 2016. Access via:

http://www.content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB22266

[1] Incidence and mortality data supplied by Public Health England, based on the National Cancer Registration Service dataset and Analysis Service, March 2017.  Numbers of lung cancer (ICD-10 C33-C34) registrations diagnosed in 2015.

[1] Mortality statistics - underlying cause, sex and age I20-I25 Ischaemic heart diseases 2013-2015: ONS Crown Copyright Reserved [from Nomis on 5 June 2017] https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/.

[1] Based on an average of around 36,354 deaths from lung disease, 85,727 deaths from heart disease and 28,661 from lung cancer per year 2013 to 2015. Lung cancer is a form of lung disease, however, data collected on lung disease records lung cancer separately to other forms of the disease, such as COPD.

[i] Mortality statistics - underlying cause, sex and age C33-C34 Malignant neoplasm of trachea, bronchus and lung,I05-I09 Chronic rheumatic heart diseases,I10-I15 Hypertensive diseases,I20-I25 Ischaemic heart diseases,I26-I52 Other heart diseases,J40-J47 Chronic lower respiratory diseases,J60-J70 Lung diseases due to external agents,J80-J84 Other respiratory diseases principally affecting the interstitium,J85-J86, Suppurative and necrotic conditions of lower respiratory tract, J90-J94 Other diseases of pleura    ONS Crown Copyright Reserved [from Nomis on 13 June 2017]

[ii] Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) - 2015-16   Publication date: October 27, 2016. Access via: http://www.content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB22266

[iii] Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) - 2015-16   Publication date: October 27, 2016. Access via:

http://www.content.digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB22266

[iv] Incidence and mortality data supplied by Public Health England, based on the National Cancer Registration Service dataset and Analysis Service, March 2017.  Numbers of lung cancer (ICD-10 C33-C34) registrations diagnosed in 2015.