Lung cancer: Scottish snooker referee backs lung cancer screening campaign after battle with disease

A Scottish snooker referee is backing a new lung cancer campaign, aimed at encouraging people over the age of 40 to get checked if they have a persistent cough for more than three weeks.

The Detect Cancer Early (DCE) campaign aims to get those with a new cough or unusual breathlessness – early signs of lung cancer – to contact their GP.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the Scottish Government has said the number of lung cancer diagnoses dropped by a quarter, but the DCE campaign has seen figures increase by 43% since it was launched.

Among those calling for people to come forward is snooker referee Leo Scullion.

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The 63-year-old, who officiated the sport’s World Championship final in 2019, was diagnosed in 2014, but after chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Mr Scullion was told he was in remission in 2019.

“I was aware I was coughing, but it became noticeable to those around me,” he said.

“I was in China for a tournament and put it down to the smog at that time, and the fact I was a smoker.

Snooker referee Leo Scullion, 63, was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and was told it was in remission in 2019.

“I did have other symptoms which I now know were warning signs. I was waking up in the middle of the night with terrible sweats, and by the time I came back home, I was feeling pretty horrible.

“Looking back, I think I knew there was something more going on, your body just tells you.”

He added: “When I was at the sharp end and I needed help, the NHS was there for me.

“If you’re worried about any unusual changes to your health, or worried about someone close to you, go and get checked. It really is that simple.

“There is life after a diagnosis, and I intend to cause havoc for the rest of it.”

Health Secretary Humza Yousafv said: “Don’t ignore early cancer signs and symptoms, and certainly don’t delay getting checked.

NHS Scotland remains open during Covid-19 and your GP practice is still there for you – getting checked early is a hugely important step in finding out if you, or your loved one, needs urgent medical help.”

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