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Combat killer

AS someone who has nursed someone with lung cancer, I am writing to ask for support in fighting this disease.

AS someone who has nursed someone with lung cancer, I am writing to ask for support in fighting this disease.

Lung cancer is a stark reality for around 39,000 new patients in the UK every year, yet it receives only 3.9 per cent of cancer research funding.

It has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer and although the major risk factor of lung cancer is smoking, 10 per cent of people diagnosed have never smoked.

During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we are urging people to take notice of the main signs and symptoms listed below as early diagnosis can save lives:

• A cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks

• Worsening or change to long standing cough

• Repeated chest infections

• Coughing up blood

• Unexplained persistent breathlessness

• Unexplained persistent tiredness

• Unexplained persistent weight loss

• Persistent chest and/or shoulder pain

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is the only UK charity wholly dedicated to fighting lung cancer and there are a variety of ways you can offer your support.

For information on local support groups and general information call freephone 0800 358 7200. If you would like to support Lung Cancer Awareness month, please log onto or contact Rita Burke on 0151 254 7207.

Pat Sanderson, Solihull


Don’t sign

IF YOU have received a letter recently from the Birmingham Primary Care Cervical Screening Programme asking you to sign a disclaimer as you have chosen to opt out of the Cervical Screening Programme, please don’t sign it unless you are confident that you have discussed this with your Primary Care Health Centre and/or doctor and actually do want to opt out.

I discovered that my health centre had advised the programme that I wished to opt out without discussing this with me. Upon checking with them I discovered that as no history of cervical screening appeared on my online notes an assumption was made that I had opted out at some time in the past. This was not at all true.

I am a proactive sort of person but I could quite easily have been a much younger woman, sexually active who had no idea what the letter was about but signed the disclaimer. The consequences could be fatal.

Name and address supplied



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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