Is Someone you Know Gasping for Breath?

05 April 2019

Is someone you know gasping for breath?

A new campaign funded by Yorkshire Cancer Research is being launched that calls upon people in Hull to look and listen out for signs that someone they know might need a lung health check.

The campaign will launch at Bransholme Health Centre on Friday 5th April with health specialists, lung cancer survivors and campaign ambassadors unveiling campaign materials that have been developed with local people over the past few months.

Developed as part of the charity’s ‘People Hull’ programme, led by Hull York Medical School, the ‘Check Your Lungs’ campaign encourages people to look out for people they know who might be experiencing breathlessness as well as listening out for symptoms such as a persistent cough. The message from People Hull is that anyone showing symptoms that could be an early sign of lung cancer should be encouraged to make an appointment with their GP, visit a walk-in centre or call GP Access+ on 01482 247111.

People Hull is a community health programme led by Professor Una Macleod, Dean of Hull York Medical School and a national leader in cancer and early diagnosis research. Made possible by an investment of over £700,000 from Yorkshire Cancer Research, the campaign aims to change the way cancer is understood, diagnosed and treated with a particular focus on early diagnosis to improve outcomes for people in Hull. 

Professor Macleod says: “We believe patient centred cancer research will help us to improve outcomes for those living with cancer in our region. The People Hull programme team has worked extensively with our local communities to better understand their attitudes to lung health, their knowledge of symptoms and to identify the barriers preventing them from seeking help. There are a range of symptoms that when seen or heard suggest that someone ought to get a check. We want to encourage members of the community to visit their GP - It might give you peace of mind, it might even save your life.”

The main symptoms indicating that someone might need a lung check include: a cough that doesn’t go away after three weeks, a long-standing cough that gets worse, coughing up blood, an ache or pain when breathing or coughing, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss, persistent chest infections, breathlessness and tiredness or lack of energy.

Dr Gavin Anderson, Respiratory Lead on Lung Cancer at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS says: “Often people are nervous about going to their GP with these symptoms as they feel they are wasting the GPs time, or they assume the worst and believe it is Lung Cancer and that nothing can be done. However, we would like to challenge this. Developments in medicine mean that even something as serious as lung cancer is treatable if caught early. If anyone has even one of the symptoms listed it is worth getting a lung check.”

The project will help Yorkshire Cancer Research achieve its goal of improving outcomes for patients living with cancer in Yorkshire.

Dr Kathryn Scott, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Cancer Research, says: “Our goal at Yorkshire Cancer Research is to save 2,000 more lives in Yorkshire every year by 2025. Two thirds of lung cancer patients in Hull are diagnosed at a late stage but we know we can have a significant impact by making sure people know how to spot the signs and symptoms of cancer and when to see their doctor. It’s so important to find cancers early when they can be treated successfully.” 

“This campaign forms part of larger investment of over £4.9millon in Hull York Medical School and the University of Hull to tackle cancer inequalities in Hull and the wider region. We are delighted to be working in partnership to deliver life changing research which will help transform cancer outcomes for patients across our region.”

The campaign is being launched at Bransholme Health Centre on the morning of Friday 5th April with a roadshow taking place at North Point Shopping Centre in the afternoon. From there, a campaign of community events, advertising and case studies made with local survivors will run throughout 2019 to help local people understand the symptoms they should be looking and listening for, whilst showing them how they can help others get a lung check that could save their lives.

For more information about symptoms and how to get a lung check, visit


Notes to Editors:
Media contact for launch: John Gilbert, Director, eskimosoup
t:    t: 01482 601886        m: 07940971071

About Hull York Medical School:

Hull York Medical School is a partnership between the universities of Hull and York. It works across both university campuses and with NHS and community health providers to deliver exceptional medical education – centred on problem based learning, clinical and communication skills and early and sustained clinical exposure.

 The School’s impact goes beyond teaching and learning and extends to research, which has discovery and innovation at its heart. 

The School’s world leading experts are advancing improvements in healthcare – diagnosis, treatment and care – and over 85% of this research is world leading or internationally excellent. 

At Hull, our research is transforming the lives of those patients with life limiting conditions with the recently opened £2.4 million Wolfson Palliative Care Research Centre at the University of Hull providing a home to our world leading research in this area. Our researchers are also impacting the way cancer is diagnosed, understood and treated at a local and national level – encouraging early diagnosis and reducing inequalities in access to treatment.

At York, our researchers have a global reputation for their work. From scientific discoveries that underpin the development, diagnosis and treatment of the world’s most aggressive diseases, to mental health research which addresses the needs of a wider variety of patients and helps to identify, treat and support them, this work is casting new light and impacting global public health. This research is improving the lives of patients locally and regionally as well as impacting national and international health agendas.


Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email:

Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 583 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
  • For further information, please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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