REGIONAL health chiefs are backing a campaign raising awareness of lung cancer.

Anyone with symptoms – such as a long-standing, persistent cough – is urged to contact their GP practice for potentially lifesaving checks.

The Help Us Help You initiative comes after figures suggest that although the disease accounts for more deaths in England than from any other cancer, people with possible symptoms are not coming forward.

Groups of people most at risk, including over-60s, are being targeted as part of the campaign.

But anybody who has had a cough for longer than three weeks, or notices other symptoms like coughing up blood or persistent breathlessness, is encouraged to get it checked out.

Spokesperson, Professor Peter Johnson, says: "We are going further and faster in our efforts to tackle cancer and have seen record numbers of people coming forward for tests and checks in the last year – but for lung cancer, we have not seen referrals bounce back at the same rate.

"It's vital that people stay alert against suspected lung cancer symptoms, so if you have a continuous cough or breathlessness don’t ignore it or assume it’s something else."

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