Cough advice from a Borders Macmillan GP

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An NHS Borders GP has stressed the importance of people getting checked if they’ve had a cough for three weeks or more.

Dr Maude Donkers urged those who have a persistent cough, or have noticed someone with the symptom, not to delay seeing their GP – stressing that they won’t be wasting anyone’s time.

The reminder comes on the back of the Scottish Government’s Detect Cancer Early (DCE) campaign, fronted by Sir Alex Ferguson, which aims to drive awareness that a cough for three weeks or more could be a sign of lung cancer.

The campaign encourages those with the symptom to get checked by their GP sooner rather than later as the earlier lung cancer is found, the easier it is to treat and the higher the chance of survival.

Dr Maude Donkers, Macmillan GP lead for cancer and palliative care at NHS Borders said: “If you’ve had a cough for three weeks or more, your GP wants to see you.

“It’s probably nothing to worry about, but if it’s something that needs treatment, the earlier it’s found, the better.

“There’s lots that can be done to treat lung cancer these days, with the survival rate almost 20 times higher for those diagnosed at an early stage, than a late stage.

“So don’t put off seeing your GP if you have a concern. You won’t be wasting anyone’s time, we’re here to help.”

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in Scotland, but thanks to advances in treatment and increased rates of early detection, more people than ever in Scotland are surviving lung cancer.

Lorraine Dallas at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation said: “We know that if lung cancer is picked up early your chances of being alive five years later are 20 times better.

“Lung cancer is treatable, potentially curable, so if you are worried, get checked.”

For more information visit getcheckedearly.org