NICE supports Lung Cancer Awareness Month (1 - 30 November)
NICE is supporting Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a nationwide campaign run by Macmillan Cancer Support and The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation (RCLCF) to increase awareness of the early signs and symptoms of the disease.
The initiative is also supported by Cancer Research UK, Cancerbackup, British Lung Foundation, Men's Health Forum, Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, National Electronic Library for Health, Department of Health and AS Biss.
During November, these organisations are running a series of information and education initiatives to inform the public, in particular, 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 the 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, which were published in 2005, recommend immediate referral for patients with:
- swelling affecting both the face and neck caused by an obstruction in the jugular veins (these veins run down either side of the neck), or
- stridor (this is a harsh sound heard 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 that 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 following organisations can provide more information on lung cancer and Lung Cancer Awareness Month:
- NHS Direct Online
- The British Lung Foundation which contains details of their Breathe Easy support groups all over the UK for anyone affected by any lung disease. Telephone: 08458 505020.
- Macmillan Cancer Support Telephone: 0808 808 2020.
- The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Helpline: 0800 358 7200.
- Cancer Research UK Telephone: 0800 226237.
- Cancerbackup Helpline 0808 800 1234
- Men´s Health Forum
- NLH Cancer Specialist Library
This page was last updated: 24 June 2010