A rise in the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer has led to a charity’s call for a rethink of awareness campaigns.
Over half of all lung cancer patients in NHS Forth Valley are now women, a rise from 43 per cent in 2009.
The figures reflect a national increase, with the number of Scottish women with the disease doubling in the past 40 years.
Now, Cancer Research UK says residents must be made aware of the early signs of the illness so they can receive life-saving treatment sooner.
Sara Hiom from Cancer Research said: “We need to improve awareness of the possible signs and symptoms of lung cancer and urge people – especially those at risk – to go to their doctor without delay if they spot any symptoms.”
A spokesperson for NHS Forth Valley said: “We actively promote the Scottish Government’s ‘Detect Cancer Early’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the lesser-known signs and symptoms of cancer and urges those with concerns to get checked by their doctor as soon as they suspect something’s wrong.
“While not all lung cancers are a result of smoking, our stop smoking service also provides advice and support for people who do smoke through clinics and drop-in sessions.”
Last week, Chancellor George Osbourne announced a two per cent above inflation rise in tobacco duty, but, while welcoming the move, Cancer Research would have preferred a steeper rise.
George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco control manager said: “We know price is a major factor many people consider when they think about quitting.
“The higher the price, the fewer people smoke.
“A one-off increase of five per cent above inflation in this budget could have led to the number of UK smokers falling by 334,000.”