Dermot O'Leary and Jo Brand
Trinity Mirror is joining with famous names from the world of entertainment to help spread the word about a new NHS campaign to fight cancer.
The fight to reduce the number of Londoner’s dying from cancer each year has been given a boost by the launch this week of a new online campaign.
The NHS website dedicated to improving the health of the capital, myhealth.London.nhs.uk has introduced a Cancer channel, giving advice on possible symptoms and interviews with specialists and sufferers alike.
X-Factor presenter and Radio 2 DJ Dermot O’Leary, comedienne Jo Brand and EastEnders’ star Diane Parish have all expressed their support for this new initiative and urge everyone to check out any possible worrying signs.
"As a parent there are always those anxious and worrying times when your little ones are poorly and you are so busy taking care of them, you find little time to pay attention to your own health." Says Diane. "That for me is why myhealthlondon.nhs.uk, is so useful. The time it takes us to check out that worrying symptom can cancel out doubt or save your life."
With 27,000 Londoners being told that they have cancer every year – and our outcomes for the disease being worse than our European neighbours – early diagnosis can be key to a successful recovery, especially in bowel, prostate, breast and lung cancer. However, embarrassment over talking about some symptoms, or the fear of wasting the doctor’s time can delay a visit to the GP surgery.
"If you’re anything like me you only go to see your GP when your leg’s hanging off…" says Dermot O’Leary. "Well I’m an idiot. Talking to your GP early about worrying symptoms can – literally – save your life."
Stressing the importance of getting over any feelings of awkwardness, Jo Brand is urging women to seek advice if they are worried: "Let's be honest, the vast majority of us don't possess bosoms that we like to show off in public," she explains. "In fact, the only vaguely positive comment I've ever received was when I went to a bra fitting place and on being asked to take off my bra so the woman could assess what I needed, I received the comment, 'Hmmm, not as bad as I'd expected'.
"But the doctor is different and if you have any concerns about your breasts or any other intimate bits, you must go and put yourself through this minor ordeal. Early diagnosis is so important in these circumstances. So, grit your teeth and go for it. There's everything to gain.
"Go to myhealth.London.nhs.uk for more info on what you need to look out for."