HSE National Cancer Control Programme urging people to act early on potential signs of cancer



The HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) is today, urging people to act early on potential signs of cancer, as research shows that some people, would wait longer to contact their GP regarding concerns. 

One in two people in Ireland will develop cancer at some point in their lives. Survival rates are significantly improved when cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. 

Dr Heather Burns, Specialist in Public Health Medicine, HSE NCCP said, ‘’Diagnosing cancer early, before it has grown or spread to other parts of the body, increases your chances of curative treatment and is one of the most important ways to increase survival. Late diagnosis, when cancer has grown and spread, limits your treatment options and reduces your chances of survival. If you have any signs or symptoms that could be cancer, such a new cough lasting for more than 3 weeks, coughing up blood or unexplained weight loss, get it checked by your GP without delay.’’

Dr Una Kennedy is a GP Advisor to the HSE NCCP and GP based in Glasnevin.  Dr Kennedy added, ‘’The NCCP conducted a series of focus groups to gain further insights into areas with high incidence of lung cancer, including Dublin City North. A common finding among participants was a fatalistic attitude towards lung cancer, with some older participants believing they were beyond help. We are urging members of the public to know the signs of cancer and call your GP today if you notice any changes or something different for you.’’

Lung cancer is Ireland’s leading cause of cancer death. However, early diagnosis is associated with better survival – 8 out of 10 (80.6%) patients diagnosed with early stage lung cancer survive for at least one year after diagnosis, compared to just 1 in 5 (20.6%) of those diagnosed with late stage disease.

National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI) data illustrate that rates of lung cancer in parts of Dublin, including North Dublin, are higher than the national average.

Please see HSE NCCP for more information 5/cancer/ and follow #KnowTheSigns on social media.

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