HEALTH MAT­TERS

Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

DR Paul Bowen is GP with McIlvride Med­i­cal Cen­tre, Poyn­ton and clin­i­cal chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG THE early de­tec­tion and treat­ment of can­cer is a key pro­gramme of work for the CCG. That’s why we’re back­ing World Can­cer Day on Satur­day, Fe­bru­ary 4.

The theme of this year’s aware­ness day is ‘We can, I can’ and it asks us to all play our part in re­duc­ing the global bur­den of can­cer. Rec­om­mended ac­tions in­clude:

Mak­ing healthy life­style choices – eat­ing plenty of fruit and veg, ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly, drink­ing sen­si­bly, not smok­ing

Un­der­stand­ing that early de­tec­tion saves lives – see­ing your GP if you think you may have symp­toms

Cre­at­ing healthy work­places – if you’re an em­ployer, en­sur­ing a clean, healthy work­ing en­vi­ron­ment; pro­vid­ing healthy op­tions in the can­teen; pro­mot­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­er­cise.

Thank­fully, in the Cheshire East lo­cal au­thor­ity area, the per­cent­age of early deaths from can­cer is be­low the national av­er­age and has been fall­ing con­sis­tently since 2002. In fact, there were fewer than 150 deaths per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion in 2012 – the most re­cent year for which au­dited fig­ures are avail­able.

Sim­i­larly, Cheshire East is close to the top 25 per cent of lo­cal au­thor­ity ar­eas for the low­est per­cent­age of peo­ple dy­ing from can­cer un­der the age of 75. The fig­ure for 2015, the lat­est avail­able, was 127 per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion – against a national av­er­age of 144.

But there’s no room for com­pla­cency, as can­cer has re­mained the top cause of death among un­der-75s for more than a decade.

For that rea­son, it’s re­ally im­por­tant that peo­ple pay at­ten­tion to the national Be Clear on Can­cer pro­grammes run by the NHS.

These cam­paigns de­scribe po­ten­tial symp­toms of can­cers af­fect­ing the breast, lung, kid­ney, blad­der and prostate gland among oth­ers. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. nhs.uk and search for ‘clear on can­cer’.

In many cases, sus­pected symp­toms turn out to be noth­ing to worry about. How­ever, it’s al­ways best to get them checked out quickly, as early de­tec­tion greatly in­creases the chances of sur­vival and a com­plete re­cov­ery.

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