Persistent cough? Then get it checked

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Scots with a persistent cough are encouraged to check in with their GP — that’s the message from the Scottish Government’s ongoing lung cancer campaign.

Anyone with a cough lasting three weeks or more is asked to make an appointment in a bid to boost early detection of lung cancer.

According to government stats, you’re almost 20 times more likely to survive lung cancer if it is detected early — but with 5,000 new cases diagnosed each year, it remains one of the most common cancers in Scotland.

Health secretary Shona Robison said: “The disease can develop slowly over a number of years and often causes no pain.

“It is much more treatable than it used to be, but being switched on to the symptoms and acting quickly to have them checked by a GP are crucial.

“If you do notice any changes to your cough, don’t ignore it. Contact your GP — you won’t be wasting anyone’s time.”

It’s a message reiterated by Dr Douglas Rigg, GP partner for Greater Glasgow and Clyde. He added: “If you or anyone you know has had a cough for three weeks or more, your GP will want to see you.

“We would usually run some simple tests to make sure it’s nothing to worry about. However, if it is cancer, the earlier it’s found, the easier it is to treat — so don’t delay.”

The Scottish Government campaign is fronted by sir Alex Ferguson, who lost both parents to the disease.

It’s the latest drive from the Detect Cancer Early programme, aiming to increase early diagnosis of breast, bowel and lung cancer by 25% by the end of 2015.