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NICE supports Lung Cancer Awareness Month

For the second year running, NICE is supporting Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a nationwide campaign being run by Macmillan Cancer Support and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation (RCLCF) throughout November to increase awareness of the early signs and symptoms of the disease.

Throughout November, a series of public information and education initiatives aim to inform people, particularly those at risk of developing the disease, about the importance of early detection and diagnosis. GPs and pharmacists are also being targeted to ensure they are aware of all possible symptoms.

NICE is supporting the campaign by highlighting its recommendations to the NHS on the referral, diagnosis and treatment of patients with lung cancer. These guidelines, published in 2005, recommend immediate referral for patients with:

  • swelling of both the face and neck caused by an obstruction in the jugular veins (these run down either side of the neck) or
  • stridor (a harsh sound made when breathing in).

They advise urgent referral for patients:

  • who are coughing up blood persistently and are smokers or ex-smokers aged 40 years and older
  • with a chest X-ray showing signs of lung cancer with a normal chest X-ray but in cases where the GP strongly suspects lung cancer
  • with a history of asbestos exposure and a chest X-ray showing signs of lung cancer.

Professor Peter Littlejohns, NICE Clinical and Public Health Director said: 'NICE fully supports Lung Cancer Awareness Month in its aim to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer at as early a stage as possible.

'The NICE clinical guidelines on lung cancer and referral for suspected cancer are helping to ensure people who present in primary care with signs and symptoms suggestive of lung cancer will benefit from a consistent and coherent approach, based on the best available evidence.'

The initiative is organised by the Lung Cancer Awareness Month Working Group (a group of stakeholders including lung cancer patients), the Department of Health, Cancer Research, Cancerbackup, the British Lung Foundation, the Men's Health Forum, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, the National Electronic Library for Health and public affairs consultancy AS Biss.

For more information on lung cancer and Lung Cancer Awareness Month contact:

  • NHS Direct Online at: www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk
  • The British Lung Foundation which has Breathe Easy support groups all over the UK for people affected by any type of lung disease. Telephone: 08458 505020.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support telephone: 0808 808 2020.
  • The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation telephone helpline: 0800 358 7200.
  • Cancer Research UK telephone: 0800 226237.
  • Cancerbackup telephone helpline: 0808 800 1234.
  • Men's Health Forum NLH Cancer

This page was last updated: 24 June 2010

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Accessibility | Cymraeg | Freedom of information | Vision Impaired | Contact Us | Glossary | Data protection | Copyright | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions

Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.