Football legend backs Galloway cancer campaign

A campaign featuring football legend Sir Alex Ferguson has been launched to help increase the early detection of lung cancer in Dumfries and Galloway.

Sir Alex is fronting a bold TV campaign that aims to build belief that lung cancer can be treated if detected earlier. He also stresses that although he lost both parents to the disease, lung cancer is much more treatable these days, and people survive it.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland, with around 5000 people diagnosed each year. In the five years between 2005 and 2009, there were 762 incidences of lung cancer in the Dumfries and Galloway NHS board area.

Health Secretary Alex Neil said: “More lives can be saved in Scotland through earlier detection. It is great to have such a recognisable face to front the campaign, and I’m sure Sir Alex Ferguson’s story will help to encourage people to get themselves checked early.

“This advert is part of our £30 million Detect Cancer Early programme, which is initially focusing on breast, bowel and lung cancer, and aims to increase the early detection of cancer by 25 per cent by the end of 2015.”

Sir Alex said: “I wanted to be involved in this campaign as I lost both my parents to lung cancer. I know the devastating impact cancer can have on families.

“But cancer’s not what it used to be and there are now treatments that can save or extend your life. So rather than doing nothing about it, I urge anyone who is worried to get checked as early as they can.”

People in Dumfries and Galloway can find out more about the campaign when a tour rolls into the Morrisons supermarket in Stranraer on Thursday, November 21, and to the Loreburn Shopping Centre in Dumfries the next day. A team will be armed with information on the signs of lung cancer and to encourage members of the public to visit their GP with any concerns about their chest, breathing or cough.

For more information visit www.getcheckedearly.org