PATIENTS in Northumberland are advised not to ignore invitations for health checks.
Thousands of personal invitations are sent out every year to encourage people to take part in screening for early signs of breast, bowel and cervical cancer.
If a disease is detected, patients can be offered information, further tests and appropriate treatment.
And NHS North of Tyne says the earlier such diseases are found, the easier they are to treat.
Director of Public Health Dr Meng Khaw said: “Finding a condition early enough is extremely important as if we can detect disease at an early stage it can prevent serious symptoms from developing.
“I would urge people not to miss the opportunity to take up screening because some conditions like some types of cancer often don’t have any obvious symptoms and so a patient may not realise when there’s something wrong.
“Responding to your invitation for cancer screening while it’s still in its early stage is very important because conditions are most responsive to treatment the earlier they are detected. Sadly sometimes by the time a patient has sought medical advice the condition may have progressed onto a more advanced stage that may be much more difficult to treat.”
The Be Clear on Cancer campaign is running across the region to help people recognise symptoms of breast, bowel and lung cancer and understand that early diagnosis gives the best chance of recovery. For more information visit www.beclearoncancer.co.uk
For more details about screening visit www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk or see your GP.