The actor, comedian and director talks about being “stunned” to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018, and says he was lucky it was detected early.
As part of the NHS ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign, supported by Public Health England, Stephen Fry reassures people with symptoms that the NHS is keen to see them if they think something is wrong, saying that he knows from “personal experience how important catching cancer sooner is to survival.”
A new NHS film featuring Stephen Fry has been released following figures revealing more than half of people (51%) would be put off going to see their doctor if they had symptoms such as tummy troubles for three weeks or blood in their pee due to feeling embarrassed.
In the film Stephen Fry encourages people to “make an appointment with your GP if you notice discomfort in the tummy area or diarrhoea for three weeks or more, or blood in your pee – even just once.”
Dame Cally Palmer, director of the NHS Cancer Programme, said: “We are very grateful to Stephen Fry for helping us to raise awareness of cancer symptoms. We continue to encourage anyone with potential symptoms to make an appointment to see their GP as soon as possible.”
Dr Hilary Jones, who is also backing the campaign, said: “As a GP and having seen instances of urological and abdominal cancers in the past, I can honestly say if you’re experiencing any tummy troubles for a few weeks, your GP will want to know about it.
“Hopefully it’s nothing serious, but if it is cancer there are lots of treatment options available and the earlier cancer is found, the better.
“I know that some of my patients are nervous to come to my clinic because of coronavirus, but the NHS has put measures in place to ensure we can see you safely so please, come and see us.”
In July, the NHS announced £20 million investment to speed up cancer diagnosis so that thousands more people can get potentially life-saving cancer checks.
The NHS Long Term Plan committed to catching three quarters of cancers early, when they are easier to treat, up from half at present.
Symptoms that could be possible signs of abdominal and urological cancers include:
- Persistent diarrhoea
- Prolonged discomfort in the tummy area
- Persistent constipation
- Continuous nausea/feeling sick
- Blood in your pee – even just once
If you have any of these, tell your GP. You should also speak to your GP if you notice any other unusual changes, a lump in the tummy area, post-menopausal bleeding, or unexplained weight loss, as these can also be signs of cancer.
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