Help us, Help You – Lung Cancer
Today, NHS England is re-launching the ‘Help Us, Help You’ lung cancer campaign to encourage people with a cough lasting three weeks or more to contact their GP practice.
Many people don’t realise that a cough for three weeks or more could be a sign of lung cancer, and so it is vital that patients act on a persistent cough and don’t wait to see if it resolves on its own.
While a cough for three weeks or more is probably nothing serious, it can be a sign of something that needs treatment. If it is cancer, finding it early means it is more treatable and can save lives.
KEY FACTS AND STATISTICS
• Lung cancer GP referrals have been the slowest of all cancer types to recover since the start of the pandemic.
• Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in England with around 39,990 cases diagnosed each year. Around 89% of those are aged 60 and over
• Lung cancer is England’s biggest cause of cancer death. In 2021, around 26,400 people died from lung cancer in England
• In 2019, lung cancer accounted for 12% of all cancer diagnoses in England and 20% of all cancer deaths
• Five-year survival for persons diagnosed with stage 1 lung cancer is 61% compared with just 4% for those diagnosed with late stage (stage 4) lung cancer
• Between 1995 and 2019, age-standardised incidence rates of lung cancer have increased from 50.8 per 100,000 to 67.1 per 100,000 for females. In males age- standardised incidence rates of lung cancer have decreased from 126.6 per 100,000 to 84.9 per 100,000
• Between 2001 and 2019, age-standardised mortality rates of lung cancer have remained relatively stable between 44.7 per 100,000 and 43.4 per 100,000 for females. In males age-standardised mortality rates of lung cancer have decreased from 95.7 per 100,000 to 61.5 per 100,000
AGE -RELATED RISK
• The incidence of lung cancer increases with age: 89% of cases are diagnosed in those aged 60 and older
LUNG CANCER DIAGNOSIS
• In 2021, 35.5% of all cancers in England were diagnosed via an emergency presentation. Those diagnosed through emergency presentations are often at an advanced stage, resulting in poorer survival.
• More than four in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented, largely through lifestyle changes such as not smoking, keeping a healthy bodyweight, eating a healthy balanced diet and cutting down on alcohol
Your NHS is here and wants to see you; Help Us, Help You.
Visit nhs.uk/cancersymptoms for more information.