A lung doctor from St Helier, Sutton and Epsom hospitals is backing a high-profile campaign to raise awareness of lung cancer.

Chest consultant and lead for lung cancer services at the Trust, Dr Shakil Rahman is supporting the Be Clear On Cancer campaign.

One hundred and forty nine referrals were made via the 'emergency referral scheme' to Epsom Hospital for lung cancer symptoms and a further 160 referrals for diagnosis were made at St Helier Hospital over the last year.

The new campaign is receiving widespread support from prominent sporting, TV, political and media personalities, including Ricky Gervais, Alex Ferguson, Duncan Bannatyne, Lynda Bellingham and Linda Robson.

Dr Rahman explained: "Lung cancer symptoms can seem quite common – a persistent cough, or an infection you can’t seem to shift.

"Coupled with that, it’s a very scary thing to face, and sometimes people are reluctant to go and see their GP.

"Sadly, this means the cancer can be more advanced, which makes it much harder to properly treat it.

"However, the message is clear – the sooner lung cancer is detected, the more treatable it is.

"Therefore, it’s important that people go to see their GP if they have concerns. It does not matter even if it is a false alarm."