NHS England has today relaunched the ‘Help Us, Help You’ lung cancer campaign to encourage people with a cough lasting three weeks or more to contact their GP practice.

Around 40,000 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed every year. It is the third most common cancer in England and the biggest cause of cancer death.

The campaign highlights that while a persistent cough is probably nothing serious, it could be a sign of something that needs treatment. And if it is cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable.

Professor Peter Johnson, National Clinical Director for Cancer, said: ‘We are going further and faster in our efforts to tackle cancer and have seen record numbers of people coming forward for tests and checks in the last year thanks to our campaigns and early diagnosis initiatives. But for lung cancer, we have not seen referrals bounce back at the same rate as other cancers.

‘It is vital that people stay alert against suspected lung cancer symptoms, so if you have a continuous cough or breathlessness, don’t ignore or assume it’s something else. Please visit your GP and get it checked out – it probably won’t be cancer but catching it early can help save lives’.

Cally Palmer, NHS England National Cancer Director said: ‘We know for a fact most people who get diagnosed with lung cancer early go on to survive so it is imperative that people are aware of the symptoms and come forward as quickly as possible.

‘The NHS is here to help and our services are open so people should not hesitate to come forward if they notice potential lung cancer symptoms’.