RESIDENTS of Blackburn with Darwen are being told ‘Don’t ignore a persistent cough’ in a new national campaign to increase awareness of key symptoms of lung cancer.

Anyone suffering for three weeks should see their doctor, as part of a drive to increase life-saving early diagnosis in the borough.

Despite the disease killing more people than any other form of cancer, few people are aware of this key symptom.

Lung cancer affects 34,900 people in England each year, with the majority over the age of 55.

Those diagnosed at the earliest stage are five times more likely to survive lung cancer for at least five years than those diagnosed later.

Other lung cancer symptoms include: repeated chest infections, coughing up blood, breathlessness, feeling more tired than usual for no obvious reason, losing weight for no obvious reason, or an ache or pain in your chest, or shoulder, that has lasted some time.

Borough public health consultant Dr Helen Lowey said: “It’s important people are aware of the symptoms and to visit the GP straight away Earlier diagnosis of lung cancer could save many more lives.”