In July, Public Health England issued a warning that over a million people in England could be living with undiagnosed heart disease or lung cancer.
They warned too many people ignore symptoms, leaving them at greater risk of dying of these diseases – which are the two biggest killers in the UK.
Experts from the public health body are urging anyone with a persistant cough – one that lasts more than three weeks – or with shortness of breath to visit their GP as soon as possible.
Figures suggest some 80,000 people in England are unaware that they have lung cancer, and around 600,000 people are living with undiagnosed heart disease.
A further million are believed to have undiagnosed chronic pulmonary disease (COPD).
Public Health England is launching a new phase of its Be Clear on Cancer campaign, which primarily focuses on lung cancer. But the watchdog is also urging people with symptoms of heart disease to get checked.
Our lead GP, Dr Najma Hussain, is supporting the campaign. She says: “A persistant cough or getting out of breath easily could be a sign of lung disease. Breathlessness is also a sign of heart disease. Anyone with these symptoms should visit their GP. If caught early, these diseases can be managed, but if symptoms are ignored until the disease is advanced the outcome is less likely to be positive.”