Ricky Gervais, Lynda Bellingham and Sir Alex Ferguson are backing a new campaign to raise awareness about lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in the UK. The disease affects 33,000 people a year, but research suggests that the public don’t know what symptoms to look out for.
New data shows that only one in 10 people know that a persistent cough for three weeks or more could be a symptom of lung cancer.
Health Minister Paul Burstow is urging people to get checked out sooner rather than later.
“The earlier lung cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of survival,” he says.
“The message from this campaign is simple; if you have a persistent cough for three weeks or more, visit your GP”.
When diagnosed at its earliest stage, as many as 80 per cent of people are alive five years after diagnosis compared with only seven per cent diagnosed at a late stage.
4 years ago, Judith Pitt from Nottingham didn't realise that her cough was a symptom of lung cancer. She was about to go on holiday but decided to see her doctor before she went.
– Judith Pitt, Lung cancer survivor
"If I hadn't been going on holiday, I would have just kept buying the cough stuff because I never thought for one minute that's what I had got."
Professor Sir Mike Richards, National Cancer Director for England, said:
“It is vital that cancer patients get treated quickly so they have the best chance of surviving.”
"Earlier diagnosis of Lung Cancer combined with the best treatments could help save an additional 1300 lives a year”.
For more information, go to the NHS website: