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.