News from Sutton LINk
Early intervention: Project launched ...
03 February 2012
South West London Cancer Network has launched a project with selected
community pharmacists in Croydon and Wandsworth to help recognise the early
signs of potential lung cancer.
The aim of the project is to improve public awareness of lung cancer
and avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment.
Alison Hill from the South West London Cancer Network, said: "We are
working with selected community pharmacists in targeted areas where there is
evidence of high rates of smoking and or high numbers of people with cancer.”
"Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the United
Kingdom. Around 41,000 people are diagnosed in the UK each year. It
kills more men and women than any other form of cancer.
"Lung cancer affects people of all ages but is most common in those who
are over 50. In 8 out of 10 cases, lung cancer is related to cigarette
smoking, although some people who have never smoked get lung cancer.”
Howard Duff, Director for England at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
said: "This is a really innovative project which could help patients with lung
cancer get diagnosed more quickly. It's great to see the Cancer Network
fully using the clinical skills of community pharmacists to increase the early
detection of cancer. Once the results of the project are available I'd
hope to see it replicated elsewhere.”
When a customer aged over 40 and who is a current or ex-smoker visits
the pharmacy with the signs and symptoms (listed below) the pharmacist will be
able to refer them to a lung specialist at Croydon University Hospital or St
George's Hospital for further investigations.
Possible signs and symptoms include:
- A cough for the past 3 weeks or more
- Coughing up blood
- Chest and/or shoulder pain
- Losing weight for no obvious reason
It must be remembered, that the great majority of people who are
referred in this way DO NOT have lung cancer, but it is important to see a
hospital specialist as soon as possible to rule out cancer.
If the customer has the symptoms outlined above, but does not want to
go to hospital for tests, the pharmacist will advise them to visit their GP if
their symptoms continue.
The following pharmacies are participating in the project:
- ABC Drugstore
- Ashburton Pharmacy
- Aukland Rogers
- Barkers Chemist
- Boots the Chemist – Clapham Junction
- Boots the Chemist – Tooting
- Care Chemists
- Jennings Chemist Ltd
- Lords Pharmacy
- National Co-Op Chemist – Roehampton
- A-Z Pharmacy
- Boots the Chemist – Whitgift Centre
- Brigstock Pharmacy
- Croydon Pharmacy
- Lloyd George Pharmacy
- Shivas Pharmacy
- Swan Pharmacy
- Your Local Boots Pharmacy – New Addington