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Br J Cancer. 2015 Jan 6;112(1):207-16. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2014.596. Epub 2014 Dec 2.

An evaluation of the impact of large-scale interventions to raise public awareness of a lung cancer symptom.

Author information

1
Statistical Information Team, Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London EC1V 4AD, UK.
2
Knowledge and Intelligence Team (East Midlands), Public Health England, Sheffield S10 3TG, UK.
3
1] Statistical Information Team, Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London EC1V 4AD, UK [2] Information Services Division, NHS National Services Scotland, Edinburgh EH12 9EB, UK.
4
1] Department of Respiratory Medicine, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester LE3 9QP, UK [2] National Cancer Intelligence Network, Public Health England, Wellington House, London SE1 8UG, UK [3] Royal College of Physicians, London NW1 4LE, UK.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Long-term lung cancer survival in England has improved little in recent years and is worse than many countries. The Department of Health funded a campaign to raise public awareness of persistent cough as a lung cancer symptom and encourage people with the symptom to visit their GP. This was piloted regionally within England before a nationwide rollout.

METHODS:

To evaluate the campaign's impact, data were analysed for various metrics covering public awareness of symptoms and process measures, through to diagnosis, staging, treatment and 1-year survival (available for regional pilot only).

RESULTS:

Compared with the same time in the previous year, there were significant increases in metrics including: public awareness of persistent cough as a lung cancer symptom; urgent GP referrals for suspected lung cancer; and lung cancers diagnosed. Most encouragingly, there was a 3.1 percentage point increase (P<0.001) in proportion of non-small cell lung cancer diagnosed at stage I and a 2.3 percentage point increase (P<0.001) in resections for patients seen during the national campaign, with no evidence these proportions changed during the control period (P=0.404, 0.425).

CONCLUSIONS:

To our knowledge, the data are the first to suggest a shift in stage distribution following an awareness campaign for lung cancer. It is possible a sustained increase in resections may lead to improved long-term survival.

PMID:
25461805
PMCID:
PMC4453621
DOI:
10.1038/bjc.2014.596
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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