George Fitt, 70, has his partner Nora to thank for urging him to see his GP when he couldn’t shake a cough that took hold towards the end of 2008. “I get a chest infection every year in the winter” says George, from Hackney, “so I wasn’t too concerned. I was coughing up a bit of blood this time, but I put that down to coughing so hard. The GP agreed that was probably the case, but to be on the safe side he sent me for a chest x-ray at Homerton Hospital and then for a scan.” George was diagnosed with lung cancer.
He had surgery at Barts Hospital in January 2009, followed by a course of chemotherapy. The cancer had not spread. George, who worked as a porter at The London Hospital until five years ago, is now enjoying his retirement. “The doctors said it was lucky the cancer was spotted early,” he says. “The treatment wasn’t easy. The chemotherapy left me feeling sick and run down. But that’s behind me now. If I hadn’t gone to the GP with that cough, I would not have had such a positive outcome.”
If you have had a cough for more than three weeks, you need to see your GP now, even if you think it’s just a smoker’s cough.
It could be something serious such as cancer. Spotting it early could save your life.