Britain’s national treasure Stephen Fry has joined an NHS campaign to encourage people with potential cancer symptoms to come forward for checks.
As part of the NHS ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign, a film is being released today (September 3), which features Fry talking about his experience of fighting cancer.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018.
In the film, the actor and comedian encourages people to come forward for checks, adding he knows from “personal experience how important catching cancer sooner is to survival.”
Meanwhile, NHS data revealed that referrals and treatment for cancer are back to pre-pandemic levels with more than 230,000 people checked in June.
More than 27,000 started treatment in June with the overwhelming majority starting within a month.
The data also showed that many people are unaware of common warning signs of cancer which include persistent diarrhoea, prolonged discomfort in the tummy area, or blood in pee – even just once.
Fry said: “All of us can succumb to cancers in the abdominal region but there are symptoms that can be looked for. Self-examination is a pretty useful thing so please, 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 that with effective use of resources by the NHS “we are back to usual levels for treatment and referrals for cancer, but we know that thousands of people could be risking their lives by delaying medical attention for cancer symptoms.”
In July, the NHS announced £20 million investment to speed up cancer diagnosis in the country.