A PAIR of giant 6ft inflatable lungs have taken over a shopping centre to raise awareness of Bournemouth’s leading cause of cancer deaths, lung cancer.

NHS England and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation have joined forces so people get diagnosed earlier and increase the likelihood of survival from one of the region’s deadliest diseases.

The inflatable lungs arrived at Castlepoint Shopping Centre on Wednesday, November 15, to educate shoppers on the symptoms.

The event follows a recent survey of over 2,000 adults in England that found that only two in five people would visit their GP if they had a cough for three weeks or more, which could be a sign of lung cancer.

Half of the respondents believed that lung cancer only affects a small number of people however, it is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in Bournemouth.

The Let’s Talk Lung Cancer roadshow is taking place throughout lung cancer awareness month and will visit ten stops across the country.

Kathryn Armitage, GP and Dorset primary care lead for cancer, said: “A life-saving diagnosis can begin with a simple conversation about symptoms, and the NHS is taking action to bring lung cancer symptoms to the forefront of people’s minds.

“For example, a cough that lasts for more than three weeks or chest infections that keep coming back.

“The earlier we can detect cancer, the easier it can be to treat, so it’s incredibly important that people who are experiencing any signs of lung cancer come forward as soon as possible.

“If you have had a persistent cough for three weeks or more, feel aches or pains when breathing or coughing, or show any of the other symptoms of lung cancer, help us help you and contact your GP practice.”

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Those attending the roadshow can speak to trained community engagement teams, learn about symptoms and the risk factors beyond smoking.

Chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, Paula Chadwick, said: “It is staggering that half of those surveyed still do not know how prevalent lung cancer is in Bournemouth.

“We believe this stems from a reluctance to talk about lung cancer, and that is largely because of its links to smoking and associated stigma. “That’s why these events are so important.

“They give us the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with people who may not realise they are at risk, who may not recognise potential symptoms or may feel unable to act on them.”

The Let’s Talk Lung Cancer roadshow will be at the Castlepoint Shopping Centre on Wednesday 15th November between 10am and 4pm.