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Bus shelters cough up cancer alert

Published 20/05/2015

Dr Miriam McCarthy, Consultant at the Public Health Agency (PHA), at one of the PHA's 'coughing' bus shelters in Belfast
Dr Miriam McCarthy, Consultant at the Public Health Agency (PHA), at one of the PHA's 'coughing' bus shelters in Belfast

Bus users in Belfast and Londonderry could be surprised by the latest public health campaign.

Intermittent coughing will be played to passengers waiting at shelters to raise awareness of early lung cancer symptoms.

They will be advised to visit a doctor if a cough has persisted for three weeks or more.

Dr Miriam McCarthy from the Public Health Agency said: "One reason patients are often diagnosed late is that they are unaware of the symptoms of lung cancer.

"The coughing bus shelter is therefore a great opportunity to explain to people the potential significance of a cough, reaching them when they're least expecting it."

In 2013 more than 1,000 cases of lung cancer were diagnosed in Northern Ireland.

Dr McCarthy said: "If lung cancer is diagnosed early, two in five patients will survive five years or more.

"However, when the diagnosis is made later on, only one in 50 will live this long. That is why it is vital to seek medical advice if you experience any symptoms which could indicate that you may have the condition."

The audio campaign will be launched at five bus shelters on High Street, Falls Road and Shankill Road in Belfast, and Stand Road and Foyle Street in Derry.

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