Be Clear on Cancer

If you’ve had a cough for three weeks or more or find yourself getting out of breath easily, tell your doctor.


Public Health England has launched a national awareness campaign, titled Be Clear on Cancer, focusing on the symptoms of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease, in an attempt to encourage people with these symptoms to go and see their GP without delay.

Across England, lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer; accounting for around 28,400 deaths each year, while coronary heart disease (the main type of heart disease) is the single biggest cause of death, accounting for over 56,000 deaths in England each year.

A persistent cough or getting out of breath doing everyday tasks that you used to be able to do, such as mowing the lawn or vacuuming, could be a sign of lung cancer or other lung disease.

Breathlessness could be a sign of heart disease as well. The campaign encourages anyone experiencing these symptoms to see their GP as finding these conditions early makes them more treatable.

Let’s be clear… don’t ignore it

It’s very easy to dismiss such symptoms like a persistent cough or breathlessness as ‘something’ else – you’re tired, you’re just a bit rundown, you’ve been fighting off a cold for a while now.

Chances are it’s probably nothing serious, but it could be a sign of something else that needs treatment. Please tell a doctor straightaway if you have been coughing for three weeks or more or if you have any of these following symptoms:

  • A cough that had changed or got worse
  • Repeated chest infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling more tired than usual
  • Losing weight for no obvious reason
  • An ache or pain in your chest or shoulder.


Seeing your doctor early makes all the difference

You’re not wasting anyone’s time by getting your symptoms checked out and, if it’s not serious, your mind will be put at rest. Early detection makes it easier to treat. Seeing your doctor early could save your life.

For more information please visit the 'Be Clear on Cancer' website.