British Asian pharmacist Khalid Ahmed joins the Be Clear on Cancer roadshow in Manchester’s Arndale to urge South Asians to be aware of the symptoms of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease….reports Asian Lite News
The Be Clear on Cancer roadshow, part of a new Public Health England campaign, visited the Arndale Centre in Manchester to raise awareness that a persistent cough, or getting out of breath doing everyday things, such as vacuuming or walking up a short flight of stairs, could be a sign of lung cancer or other lung disease.
“As pharmacists we have a vital role in supporting this campaign. We know that early diagnosis of these conditions has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life for those living with long term conditions, such as COPD,” said Khalid Ahmed, superintendent pharmacist and director of Your UK Pharmacy, Manchester.
“People may put off visiting their GP for a number of reasons. Some may not realise a symptom like a persistent cough or getting out of breath doing things that you used to be able to do could be a sign of something serious, they may be fearful of what they will find out, or even worry about wasting their GP’s time.”
“Whilst pharmacists and frontline counter staff won’t be the ones making a diagnosis, we are able to give the all-important ‘nudge’ to people we think would benefit from a visit to their GP.”
Breathlessness can also be a sign of heart disease. The event encouraged anyone who notices these symptoms to visit their GP as finding these conditions early makes them more treatable.
The most recent data reveals that in Greater Manchester, around 2,320 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year and around 65,250 people have been diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – a common form of lung disease that includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis). Around 101,530 have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease.
Early diagnosis of these conditions has the potential to save lives and improve the quality of life of those living with long-term conditions, such as COPD. The earlier heart disease is diagnosed the better – treatment can help manage the symptoms and reduce the chance of a heart attack.
Dr Rebecca Wagstaff, Deputy Director- Health & Wellbeing, Public Health England, North West said: “This campaign is crucially important to South Asian communities as we know there is an increased risk of heart disease amongst these groups and smoking increases the risk of lung cancer and COPD. The campaign will help people recognise the symptoms and encourage them to seek help, potentially saving lives from what are three of the biggest causes of death in England.”
At the events, leaflets were distributed that provide information on lung disease, including lung cancer, and heart disease.