East London consultant in TV ad on lung cancer

Dr Frank Chinegwundoh who is starring a TV ad to raise awareness of lung cancer

Dr Frank Chinegwundoh who is starring a TV ad to raise awareness of lung cancer - Credit: Archant

A consultant from Barts Health is starring in a TV advert to help raise awareness of the signs of lung cancer among the Black community.

The ad is part of a bigger national NHS Be Clear on Cancer campaign to encourage people with a persistent cough to see their doctor early.

In it Dr Frank Chinegwundoh outlines the need for people not to ignore a cough that has lasted for three weeks or more, as this is the most common symptom of lung cancer.

He said: “Many people believe that you cannot survive cancer but lung cancer can be treated if caught early and you can have a good quality of life after treatment.

“We know that smoking, which is a major risk factor for lung cancer, is higher than the national average among Black Caribbean men”.

There are a number of reasons why people from Black and South Asian communities don’t go to their GPs early enough. These include a strong fear of cancer and a belief that it’s a death sentence, a low awareness of the symptoms of lung cancer and a lack of awareness that coughs can be a serious symptom of lung cancer

Dr Chinegwundoh said: “If you have had a cough for three weeks or more it’s really important not to ignore your symptoms. Seeing your doctor early could save your life. I am delighted to be able to help with this campaign.”

Most Read

Lung cancer is England’s biggest cancer killer, causing around 28,000 deaths each year. Black and South Asian men (Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi) are more likely to smoke than those in the white population in England. While one in eight people with the disease have never smoked, smoking is a major risk factor for lung cancer.

The Be Clear on Cancer campaign includes adverts – featuring real doctors – on mainstream and ethnic TV, print and radio until mid-August.

Public Health England commissioned the three minute film featuring Dr Chinegwundoh, which is being showing on three prominent black TV stations as well as digital channels.

For more information on the signs and symptoms of lung cancer visit: www.nhs.uk/lung cancer

The main symptom is a persistent cough for three weeks or more. Other symptoms include:

• a cough that has got worse or changes

• repeated chest infections

• coughing up blood

• breathlessness

• feeling more tired than usual for some time

• losing weight for no obvious reason or an ache or a pain in your chest or shoulder that has lasted some time