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Sit on the Liverpool PCT sofa for the chat that could save your life

by Natalie Evans. Published Thu 19 May 2011 14:47, last updated: 19/05/11

One of Liverpool’s most iconic settings will be the first stop for a new roadshow aimed at saving lives by increasing earlier diagnosis of cancer.

Liverpool Primary Care Trust (PCT) will take its specially-branded sofa on board a Mersey Ferry to launch the ‘On the Couch’ tour.

Over the next few months the sofa will visit key locations across the city, such as shopping centres and supermarkets, to provide residents with an opportunity to chat to a doctor or nurse about the symptoms they should look out for.

The tour is part of the wider Be Clear on Cancer campaign, which is designed to raise awareness of the signs of breast, bowel and lung cancer and encourage people to report their symptoms sooner. Together these three diseases cause nearly half of Liverpool’s cancer deaths.

Liverpool GP, Dr Steve Connolly said: “Cancer claims the lives of around 1,330 Liverpool residents every year, making it the city’s biggest cause of death.

"We know earlier diagnosis is key to improving survival rates, and the idea behind the ‘On the Couch’ tour is to provide people with an opportunity to chat to a health professional about the signs they should be looking out for.

“We know some patients are reluctant to report their symptoms because they’re concerned they will be wasting their GP’s time, or feel embarrassed or scared.

"In most cases we won’t find anything serious but if you’re showing some key symptoms then it’s always best to get them checked out.

"If you are found to have cancer then early diagnosis could greatly improve your survival rates. Catching the disease at its early stages makes it more treatable and could save your life.

“The NHS runs a screening programme to help catch cancer more quickly, and if you have been invited to take part or attend a screening it’s vital that you go.

"Please also look out for the symptoms highlighted in the campaign and if you experience any then speak to your GP."

Be Clear on Cancer asks people to look out for the following symptoms:

Bowel Cancer
(for three weeks)
Blood in your poo
Looser poo
Persistent change in bowel habit
Abdominal discomfort
Abdominal lump

Breast Cancer
Lump in your breast
Skin dimpling/puckering
Discharge from your nipple

Lung Cancer
(for three weeks)
Persistent cough
A change in a cough
Unexplained shortness of breath

Be Clear on Cancer will run until August 2011. The campaign has received £100,000 funding from the Department of Health and is also supported by Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust.

List of times and venues for the ‘On the Couch’ tour:

20th May – Garston Market (10.30am – 3.30pm)
21st May - Great Home Street (10.30am-12.30pm) and Liverpool One (1.30pm-3.30pm)
24th May – Croxteth Wellness Centre (10.30am-12.30pm and Rialto Neigbourhood Council (1.30pm-3.30pm)
26th May – South Liverpool NHS Treatment Centre (1.30pm-3.30pm)
29th May – Croxteth Park (10.30am-3.30pm)
2nd June – Radio City Tower (10.30am-3.30pm)
4th June – Liverpool One (10.30am-3.30pm)
5th June – Liverpool One (10.30am-3.30pm)
10th June – Belle Vale Shopping Centre (10.30am-12.30pm) and lobby of Daily Post and Echo (1.30pm-3.30pm)
11th June – in front of the Liver Building (10.30am-3.30pm)
12th June – Sefton Park (10.30am-3.30pm)
14th June – Pagoda Chinese Community Centre (1.30pm-3.30pm)
16th June – Tuebrook Market (10.30am-3.30pm)



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