Posted on Thursday 11th November 2010
There will be an information stand at West Cumberland Hospital next Wednesday to make people aware of one of the UK’s biggest killers.
Members of West Cumbria’s Breathe Easy group – a support group for people living with a lung condition, their families and carers – want to publicise the help they can provide.
Next Wednesday, 17 November, is World COPD Day. COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is an umbrella term for a number of conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It is a progressive, irreversible lung disease yet it is both preventable and treatable and early diagnosis and treatment can slow the progression of the illness.
COPD currently kills more people every year than colon cancer, more men than prostate cancer and more women than breast cancer. Symptoms of COPD include a persistent cough, a wheezy chest, and recurrent chest infections.
The theme of this year’s World COPD Day is “get tested – you could be one of the missing millions”. It is estimated that 3.7 million people in the UK have COPD but only around 900,000 have been correctly diagnosed. That means, across the country, there are 2.8 million people who aren’t aware their lives are in danger.
The British Lung Foundation is calling for anyone who is displaying symptoms such as a persistent cough, wheezy chest or is a smoker or ex-smoker and over the age of 35 to be offered a lung function test by their GP.
To raise awareness of the day the Breathe Easy group will be putting up a stand in the main foyer at West Cumberland Hospital with leaflets and information about the help they can provide. The group was formed about 18 months ago and is part of the British Lung Foundation’s national support network for people affected by lung diseases and their carers.
Greta Dyer, Secretary of the West Cumbrian branch, explained: “Being diagnosed with a lung condition can be a very isolating experience. We get together once a month and anyone is welcome to come along. It’s a social thing – a chance to have a cup of tea and a piece of cake and talk to people facing the same problems.”
The group meets the first Monday of every month from 2pm to 4pm in the Health Education Room at Workington Hospital. Anyone is welcome to go along and there is no charge. For more information call Greta on 01900 605328 or visit the stand at West Cumberland Hospital on Wednesday.