A CAMPAIGN has been launched to improve earlier diagnosis of lung cancer in the region.
Lung cancer affects 33,000 people nationally each year, with around 2,500 cases in the North East.
When discovered at its earliest stage, as many as 80 per cent of people are alive five years after diagnosis, compared with only seven per cent diagnosed at a late stage.
Be Clear on Cancer will see new adverts fronted by GPs until the end of June.
Despite the disease killing more people than any other form of cancer in England, statistics released by the Government show that only one in 10 people knows a persistent cough lasting for three weeks or more could be a symptom of lung cancer and if dealt with early could save their life.
Nonnie Crawford, director of public health for Sunderland, said: “Earlier diagnosis could potentially save hundreds of lives in North East.
“If you’ve had a cough for three weeks or more, make an appointment today.
“It may be nothing serious, but it is better to have them checked out early to be sure.”