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Know the signs and symptoms

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People are being urged to recognise the early signs and symptoms of life threatening conditions like heart disease and cancer.

Dudley Council’s public health team has launched a new borough-wide ‘signs and symptoms’ campaign to help residents identify the warning signs earlier.

Heart disease and cancer are the main causes of early death in Dudley. But if they are identified early and treated most people will make a full recovery and be able to continue to live their lives as before.

Unfortunately, for many people in the borough, these health problems are diagnosed too late, sometimes following admission to hospital. This can be because the symptoms are not recognised and seen as just part of getting older.

Early signs of cancer can be a lasting cough or shortness of breath, feeling tired for no reason, a change in bowel habits or unexplained weight loss. The early signs of heart disease can be acute pain or discomfort in the chest, arms or jaw, clammy skin and sweating or nausea or vomiting.

The campaign aims to help people recognise these symptoms early and encourage them to visit their GP to get the symptoms checked out.

Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:

It’s important that we understand the signs of symptoms of heart disease and cancer as early as possible.
People in the most deprived areas of Dudley are more likely to die early from these two diseases. The rate of early deaths of men are 3 times higher for those in our most deprived areas compared to our least deprived areas and twice as high for women.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage those from areas of high deprivation to seek medical advice in a bid to close the health gap.
It’s important to know what’s normal for your body, and visit your GP if there are any changes that are of concern.
These days heart disease and cancers can be treated and the earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome.”

The Dudley Council public health website - gives more information about the signs and symptoms of heart disease and cancers.

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