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Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Don’t let lung cancer make itself at home

Thursday, June 3, 2021


NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde backs new Scottish Government campaign urging people not to ignore potential symptoms

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde today highlighted the importance of getting potential lung cancer symptoms checked, as a bold national Detect Cancer Early campaign gets underway.

Those aged over 40 who have a new or different persistent cough, or unusual breathlessness, for three weeks or more are being urged to not let lung cancer ‘settle in’, by contacting their GP practice without delay.

Today, Dr Nicola Steele from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde echoed the campaign call, reminding people that the sooner lung cancer is found, the easier it is to treat.

The Scottish Government campaign has been developed in response to Public Health Scotland data that shows around 25 per cent fewer lung cancers are being diagnosed now compared to pre-COVID-19.

This, coupled with the fear of a potential cancer diagnosis continues to stop people acting early, when there are more treatment options available and the chance of survival is higher.

Dr Nicola Steele, Consultant medical oncologist, Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, said:

“Diagnosing and treating cancer is a priority for the NHS, and this vital campaign drives home the importance of acting early if you have possible lung cancer symptoms. 

“GP practices are working differently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with initial appointments carried out over the telephone or by video.  Measures are in place to ensure your safety if a face-to-face appointment is needed for further examination or tests.

“Whilst lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland, with around 5,500 new cases diagnosed in every year, there’s lots that can be done to treat it.  So please don’t delay contacting your GP practice if you are concerned.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

"More people are surviving cancer than ever before, but we know that fear of cancer is putting people off getting checked or attending screening, when invited.

“Don’t ignore early cancer signs and symptoms, and certainly don’t delay getting checked. NHS Scotland remains open during COVID-19 and your GP practice is still there for you – getting checked early is a hugely important step in finding out if you, or your loved one, needs urgent medical help.

"While it’s probably nothing to worry about, a quicker diagnosis can mean less worry. If cancer is confirmed, more treatment options are available if it’s found early.”

For more information on lung cancer signs and symptoms, visit

  • Ends –

For further information, contact Smarts – [email protected]  / 07967 503 912


Public Health Scotland: COVID-19 wider impacts on the health care system (

Public Health Scotland; Cancer Survival in Scotland, 19 January 2021 (

Notes to editors:

Images from the advertising campaign are available, please contact Smarts.

You can view the TV advert here:

The campaign will involve TV, press, radio and digital advertising, and pharmacy activity. 

The Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early (DCE) Programme aims to increase the proportion of breast, bowel and lung cancers diagnosed at an early stage when the chance of survival is higher. Since the launch of the £43 million Programme in 2012, the proportion of lung cancer diagnoses at the earliest stage have gone up by 43%, and 57% in the most deprived areas of Scotland.

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer that people aged 40 and over should get checked include:

  • A persistent new or different cough for 3 weeks or more, after testing negative for COVID-19
  • Feeling breathless or more breathless than usual for no reason
  • Persistent or recurring chest infection
  • Coughing up blood
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Chest/ shoulder pain
  • Fatigue in smoker or ex-smoker
  • A (new) hoarse voice

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Last Updated: 11 November 2021