Wilfred Griffith features in Public Health England’s current Be Clear on Cancer campaign. The campaign focuses on a persistent cough, or getting out of breath doing everyday things such as vacuuming or walking up a short flight of stairs. These symptoms could be a sign of lung cancer or other lung diseases. Breathlessness can also be a sign of heart disease. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see their GP as finding these conditions early makes them more treatable.
Wilfred Griffith shares his story of surviving Lung Cancer
Wilfred Griffith, originally from Barbados was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008. Reflecting on his symptoms he said “My family and I knew something was wrong when I had a cough that wouldn’t go away, pain in my chest and I was feeling weak.” His concerned children took him to see the doctor. After investigation Wilfred was diagnosed with lung cancer “The diagnosis was a complete shock. No one in my family had ever experienced cancer so I didn’t know much about it or what to expect.”
Wilfred came to terms with the diagnosis “My family were there for me through this difficult period.” He also acknowledges the support of the doctors and other healthcare professionals “The staff at the hospital were really supportive and attentive. They explained everything to me, I felt informed and less apprehensive about the treatment.”
His treatment went well and he made a good recovery.Wilfred now aged 85 has been in remission for the last 8 years and is enjoying spending time with his family. He encourages others by sharing his personal experience and is keen for people to know that you can survive, he says “I was diagnosed with lung cancer aged 77. I am now 85 years old and I’m living proof that you can survive cancer.”
He advises others who may have had a cough that has lasted three weeks or more “Don’t ignore your symptoms or try to self-treat it. Just go and see your doctor. Finding lung cancer early could save your life and give you more time to spend with your loved ones.”
“I am so pleased that Public Health England is running this campaign to highlight that a cough for three weeks or more could be a sign of lung disease or even lung cancer. It’s so important that people are aware.”
Dr Philip Abiola, GP and Clinical Lead for Cancer at Newham said: “Symptoms like a persistent cough or getting out of breath easily could be signs of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease that can be easy to ignore. Anyone who has these symptoms should see their GP, don’t worry about wasting our time, we want to see you. The sooner these big diseases are spotted and patients start treatment, the greater the chances to save lives and help people manage these conditions.
Wilfred features in Public Health England’s film produced to support the campaign, the film can be viewed athttp://po.st/HZmwQq.
For further information about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, lung disease and heart disease, search ‘Be Clear on Cancer’.