15 January 2015
Dr Gerry Millar, Macmillan Cancer and Palliative Care GP and Dr Rory Convery, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Southern Health and Social Care Trust
The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has launched a pilot X-ray service to help tackle lung cancer. It’s hoped the new drop-in scheme for the over 50s will save lives. Over 1000 people here in Northern Ireland are diagnosed with lung cancer every year and more than 900 people die from the disease each year.
Dr Gerry Millar, Macmillan Cancer and Palliative Care GP for the Southern Trust, says early diagnosis is key: 'It's no good a patient turning up late. Forty-five per cent of patients with lung cancer end up in hospital with some other complaint and the lung cancer is then diagnosed as a secondary condition. We want to get these people to the chest physicians and surgeons early enough to receive meaningful treatment.'
Often people who have lung cancer display very few symptoms but there are a number of tell-tale signs.
Consultant chest physician Dr Rory Convery explains: 'If you've got a cough or worrying symptoms such as coughing up small amounts of blood, chest pain, weight loss and if you've been a smoker or you're still smoking, we're encouraging people to pop along to our open access X-ray departments for a chest X-ray.'
If you meet the criteria, or are worried you have symptoms, you can drop in without a GP referral to the Radiology Departments at Armagh Community, South Tyrone and Daisy Hill hospitals, Portadown Treatment and Care Centre or Banbridge Polyclinic on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9am - 4pm.
The pilot X-ray project will run until the end of February.