National Lung Cancer Campaign

Published: 2nd July, 2013 in: Health Advice

The National reminder Campaign on Being Clear on Cancer will be running from 2 July to mid-August 2013.

Be Clear on Cancer aims to improve early diagnosis of cancer by raising awareness of symptoms and encouraging people to see their GP earlier. 

Anyone can develop lung cancer.  It affects both men and women and is more common in older age, with 97% of people diagnosed in England aged over 50.  Tobacco is by far the biggest cause of lung cancer – smoking causes more than 8 in 10 lung cancers in the UK.  People who smoke, used to smoke, or have been exposed to second-hand smoke have an increased risk of developing the disease. 

Key lung cancer facts

  • Around 33,800 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in England every year and around 28,100 people die from the disease.
  • More than 90% of lung cancer cases are symptomatic at diagnosis, with a cough being most common.
  • Between 10-15% of lung cancer patients in England are diagnosed at the earliest stage – around 70% are diagnosed at a late stage. 


Lung cancer is England’s biggest killer.  It has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer because over two-thirds of patients are diagnosed at a late stage when treatment that could cure it is not possible.  An estimated 1,300 deaths from lung cancer could be avoided each year if survival rates matched the best in Europe.


The symptoms of lung cancer are:

Although the campaign is focusing on the symptom of persistent three-week cough, it is important to be aware of other possible symptoms, which include:

  • A cough that has got worse or that changes
  • Repeated chest infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • Breathlessness
  • An ache or pain in the chest or shoulder that has lasted some time.


Pharmacists and Pharmacy staff can often play an important part in both stopping smoking and early diagnosis.  If any patient needs to discuss any concerns of either of these matters with one of our Pharmacy team then they can call the customer care number.