Norfolk's Stephen Fry backs new national NHS cancer campaign

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry has backed a new campaign to encourage people to get checked out if they have symptoms that could be cancer - Credit: Simon Finlay

Norfolk actor and comedian Stephen Fry has lent his support to a national NHS campaign that encourages people with potential cancer symptoms to speak out and get lifesaving checks.

The star, who was treated for prostate cancer in 2018, features in the new campaign film, NHS Help Us Help You, which is warning people of the early signs of abdominal or urological cancer. 

New NHS figures show 51pc of people are put off going to their doctor for symptoms, such as blood in their urine, due to feeling embarrassed. 

Mr Fry says he was “stunned” when he received his cancer diagnosis. 

He said: “I was very lucky because mine was diagnosed early. As you get older you realise you are less embarrassed at the fact that you have to check things. 

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“So please, make an appointment with your GP if you notice discomfort in the tummy area or diarrhoea for three weeks or blood in your pee, even just once.” 

Alongside Stephen Fry, other cancer survivors are featured in the film, sharing their stories to encourage people "if in doubt, check it out" and go see a doctor. 

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Abdominal and urological cancers account for nearly half of all cancer diagnoses, and two in five cancer deaths, in England. New figures from the NHS show that many people are unaware of common warning signs – which could prevent them seeking help. 

Dame Cally Palmer, director of the NHS Cancer Programme, said: “We are very grateful to Stephen Fry for helping us to raise awareness of cancer symptoms. We continue to encourage anyone with potential symptoms to make an appointment to see their GP as soon as possible. 

In July, the NHS announced £20 million investment to speed up cancer diagnosis so that thousands more people can get potentially life-saving cancer checks. 

In the East of England, more than 3,000 people received their first treatment in June.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to catching three quarters of cancers early, when they are easier to treat, up from half at present. 

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