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Don't ignore unexplained symptoms

Published on:

14 March 2016

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Enfield Council is encouraging residents to check their unexplained symptoms with their GP to potentially catch cancer early.

Enfield residents are being urged to check out unexplained symptoms and to see a doctor as soon as they can in a new public health campaign from Enfield Council designed to alert people to the early signs of cancer.

“Detecting cancer in its first stages is the key to getting early and effective treatment,” said Cllr Nneka Keazor, Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health & Sport.

She said: “The ‘If in doubt – check it out’ campaign is telling people not to ignore any unexplained symptoms such as: bleeding that does not come from an injury; unexplained lumps, weight loss or pain that does not disappear.

“The chances are that these signs are not serious; but I do not want people to leave any unusual physical change to chance. As soon as they notice something unexplained people should see their GP.”

There is evidence that Enfield residents are presenting themselves with symptoms some time after they have appeared; or waited to get it checked at a screening appointment.

Cllr Keazor, continued; “Don’t wait for a screening appointment or put up with unusual pain or bleeding - see a doctor. We are writing to all Enfield GPs to let them know about the campaign. Most people will be reassured by a visit to know that nothing is serious – and for those who need extra attention they will know that they are going to receive tests and treatment quickly.”

  • Although the Cancer Mortality rate for under 75 year olds in Enfield is significantly below the England average, mortality varies within Enfield. 
  • Making healthier choices can reduce the risk of cancer:  such as stopping smoking; cutting down on red meat and alcohol; increased physical activity; high fibre diet; using sun cream and breastfeeding babies.
  • Screening is highly effective for detecting some cancers such as: cervical cancer, breast cancer and bowel cancer.
  • Enfield had the second highest screening rate in London in 2014/15.
  • Some types of cancers such as lung cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, brain cancer, ovarian cancer and skin cancer will not be picked up through screening and can only be detected by patients presenting with the suspected symptoms.
  • GPs are being advised to expect a surge of between 5 per cent and 10 per cent in consultations following the launch of this campaign but early diagnosis considerably improves the outcomes of those patients with cancers.