A celebrity campaign to help people spot the dreaded disease at an early stage has received the endorsement of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who lost both his parents to lung cancer.
Ferguson, who saw his parents succumb to lung cancer when they were in their 60s, has reportedly joined celebrities like comedian Ricky Gervais, to help educate people about the early symptoms of the disease, which claims 35,000 lives in the UK every year.
Advertisement"My father was 66 when he died and my mother was only 64 "Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer only a week after he retired and within 12 months it had killed him. Then my Mum, who had smoked all her life, was diagnosed with lung cancer as well and she passed away a few years after my Dad," the Scotsman quoted Ferguson, as saying.
"Anyone who has experienced lung cancer knows what a truly devastating disease it is and having lost both my parents to it, I sadly know better than most," he added.
Other celebrities taking part in the campaign, which will run through November, the Lung Cancer Awareness Month, include football legend Bruce Grobbelaar, British Olympic rowing stars Pete Reed and Katherine Grainger, and Hollyoaks actor Emmett Scanlan.
About 4,000 deaths occur in Scotland alone, which has the highest rates of lung cancer in the UK.
Dr Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said that early diagnosis of lung cancer can help to save lives, which is possible only when people are educated about signs and symptoms of the disease.
"Lung cancer is known as the invisible, or forgotten disease, but it is a stark reality for the 39,750 new patients who are diagnosed in the UK every year. Despite this, only 5 per cent of cancer research funding from government and charities goes towards lung cancer, and the chance of surviving the disease has barely changed since the 1970s," she added.