Early cancer checks “save lives” in Lincolnshire

Students are being urged to check for signs of cancer by a Lincolnshire cancer prevention charity.

The Early Presentation of Cancer (EPOC) programme runs several campaigns across the year to raise awareness of cancer symptoms.

EPOC banner

Clare Bryan, volunteering co-ordinator for EPOC, said: “We are at the very beginning of the of the cancer journey. So hopefully, before you actually get cancer.

“The idea is we have workers in communities right across the county – for instance we hold a stand every month at the University of Lincoln.

“They give out information to the public and it’s all about spotting the signs and symptoms of cancer.”

The group focuses on raising awareness on five different types of cancer – bowel, breast, prostrate, lung and cervical.

It is hoped that by raising awareness, students can check themselves for the signs and spot the disease earlier, reducing the amount of people with incurable cancer. They are urging people to check themselves at least one a month.

Clare continued: “Early presentation saves lives. The quicker you notice something isn’t quite right, the quicker you go to the doctor, the more likelihood is you get treated quicker, earlier and your prognosis would be a lot better.”

What are the signs?

  • Symptoms of lung cancer include a persistent cough, or a change in a current one, being short of breath, blood in your phlegm and repeated chest infections. Lasting chest or shoulder pain and unexplained weight loss are also common.
  • Meanwhile, prostate cancer signs that could be spotted range from needing to pee frequently, difficulty when going to the toilet or pain when doing so, blood in a male’s bodily fluids and pain when engaging in sexual activity.
  • Common breast cancer signs can see women suffer from lumps in their breast tissue; pain, thickening or dimpling in the skin; or a rash or discharge from the nipple.
  • Cervical cancer which is often known as a silent killer also has signs which can easily be spotted. They include irregular bleeding, pain during sex or unpleasant discharge.
  • And bowel cancer sees changes such as constipation or diarrhoea, a need to go frequently, abdominal discomfort or a feeling of a lump, or bleeding.

Students concerned about their risk of cancer or looking to have a professional screening should contact their GP.