Lung cancer is Ireland’s biggest cancer killer.
Now the Marie Keating Foundation has launched a simple service to help prevent symptoms of the disease from being masked by Covid-19 and ‘Flu during the pandemic.
The world’s first cough checker phone-line opens today. Anyone who is worried about their symptoms can dial 1800-COUGHS (1800-268447) to access support from home
“Lung cancer needs a good listener as it is extremely sneaky,” said Liz Yeates, CEO, Marie Keating Foundation.
“This year it is hiding behind Covid-19 and flu, making it more dangerous than ever to ignore concerns. Our new phone-line will give people the confidence to know it is okay to call their GP and to get ‘that’ cough checked out. The Marie Keating Foundation is here to support everyone at every step of their cancer journey, but we want to prevent cancer too.
Lung cancer referrals are down by 9% compared to last year. Despite being largely preventable and treatable, it is a cancer that is often diagnosed at a late stage and research shows that the stigma associated with lung cancer remains a key issue; the most at-risk are least likely to get tell-tale symptoms (a persistent cough lasting longer than three weeks, unexplained weight loss, breathlessness, chest pain or shoulder pain) checked.
“We know that early detection improves survival. By recognising the warning signs as early as possible, we can catch lung cancer out,” added Ms Yeates.
The Big Check Up, supported by Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), MSD and Roche Pharmaceuticals (Ireland) Ltd, aims to encourage the Irish public to check up on their family and friends this coughing season, encouraging them to take notice of ‘that’ cough and get it checked by their GP. The free phone-line, 1800-COUGHS (1800-268447), will allow callers to hear advice from a GP on any suspicious cough they may have and includes advice on Covid-19, flu and lung cancer.
To find out more, visit mariekeating.ie/thebigcheckup