16/04/2012

Celebs Support Early Detection Drive

Sharon Osbourne and football legends Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson are among the celebrities backing a drive to increase the early detection of cancer.

The stars join a range of other celebrities including television presenters Carol Smillie, Lynn Faulds Wood and Jenni Falconer who are supporting the Detect Cancer Early initiative, which encourages Scots to go to their GP at the first sign of changes to their health.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "The earlier a cancer is diagnosed the greater the chance it can be treated successfully and it is fantastic that so many well known faces are backing our Detect Cancer Early campaign.

"Breast, bowel and lung cancer are the three most common cancers in Scotland, and by diagnosing and detecting these cancers earlier, we can treat patients when their general health is better and when less aggressive treatment may be required than if the cancer had spread. This will improve survival and reap benefits for patients, their families and all of Scotland."

Sharon Osbourne, who survived bowel cancer, is backing the drive to help Scots spot the signs and symptoms of cancer.

She said: "We've all got a bum and we all poo so everyone is the same. The sooner bowel cancer is detected, the better the chances of survival. That's why everyone needs to learn about the symptoms and go straight to the doctor if you are worried about anything because early detection can save your life."

Football legend, Kenny Dalglish added: "Witnessing my wife Marina battle with cancer really took its toll on me and the rest of the family. If anything, having her here now makes you realise how short but precious life is. Being faced with a life-threatening illness means you must have strength to see that it's beatable.

"But beating cancer can depend on how quickly it's detected. We're so lucky that my wife's cancer was detected early and she was treated immediately and she's still here fighting the cause and doing as much as possible to raise awareness of breast cancer through our charity. Survival rates for cancer are so much better nowadays but surviving means being aware of the symptoms and going to your doctor straight away for treatment."

Scottish television presenter Carol Smillie has had a cancer scare and is now urging Scots to go to their doctor if they spot any signs of the disease.

She said: “A few years ago I discovered a lump, which I was worried could be breast cancer but I had it removed and it turned out to be a cyst.

"Getting the lump checked out really helped to put my mind at ease. I would strongly urge everyone to be aware of their bodies and go to their doctor if they spot any symptoms that could be cancer. It might not be cancer but the only way you will know for sure is by visiting your GP."

Sir Alex Ferguson is also backing the Scottish campaign. He said: "Having lost both my parents to lung cancer, I know better than most the devastating impact that cancer has on families. If you're a smoker like my parents were, always be aware of any changes to your health and go straight to your doctor.

"Although cancer survival rates are increasing, the only way to beat this awful illness is to get checked out as early as possible and get treatment immediately. Life is very short and there's so much to live for, especially after cancer."

The Detect Cancer Early campaign is part a £30m drive to improve cancer survival rates by 25 per cent in Scotland.

Focusing on the three main types of cancer – breast, lung and bowel cancer – the campaign aims to save more than 300 lives by 2016. It addresses people’s fear and lack of knowledge about the prospects of survival from cancer, as well as tackling their apprehension to approach their doctor.

(GK)

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