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Hundreds of locals took part in NHS England’s ‘Bus-ting Cancer Tour’ this week as the bus rolled into Coventry to drive awareness of the signs and symptoms of cancer and encourage people to contact their GP practice if they notice something in their body that doesn’t feel right.

The tour, delivered in partnership with Stagecoach, is visiting towns and cities across the country with some of the lowest early diagnosis rates, and on Tuesday 28th November visited Coventry for the first time.

The event saw an NHS branded bus stationed in Millennium Place in Coventry City Centre, with teams of local NHS staff and charity workers from Macmillan helping make passers-by aware of common cancer signs and symptoms. Health professionals were also on hand to share further information and discuss potential symptoms with the public.

The teams spoke to hundreds of people during the course of the day and handed out information leaflets to help raise awareness of the signs people should be looking out for. The team also consisted of people who could speak various languages, including from local radio station Radio Panj, to make sure they could engage with as many people as possible.

The tour is part of NHS England’s Help Us, Help You campaign, which aims to address the key barriers to people seeking help for cancer, increase awareness of body changes that could be a sign of cancer and to help drive earlier diagnosis, tackle health inequalities, and save lives.

The campaign comes as new survey data shows 44% of people in the West Midlands said they wouldn’t make an appointment with their GP if they noticed a change in their body that they thought could be cancer.

Just under three-quarters (77%) of respondents in West Midlands are confident that they would notice a change in their body that could indicate a serious health condition. Yet, a quarter (23%) said that, if they noticed a change that could be cancer, they would wait to see if it gets better on its own or ignore it and hope it goes away.

However, early diagnosis increases chances of successful treatment. In fact, 65 out of 78 passengers on the Bus-ting Cancer bus would survive cancer if caught at an earlier stage.

Dr Hilary Jones, who is supporting the NHS Bus-ting Cancer Tour, said:

“Diagnosing cancer as early as possible means it is more likely to be treated successfully. This is why the NHS Bus-ting Cancer Tour has hit the road to spread this important message and urge people to be body aware and not ignore potential signs of cancer. If something in your body doesn’t feel right, contact your GP practice. Until you find out, you can’t rule it out and the NHS is here for you whatever the result.”

Gary Walton, Consultant Head & Neck Surgeon at University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust and Cancer Lead Clinician for Coventry and Warwickshire ICB, said:

“We are thrilled that the NHS Bus-ting Cancer Tour made its way to Coventry this year. Having a dedicated “bus stop” where people can go to learn more about cancer symptoms and ask about anything that may be worrying them is extremely valuable.

“We want to do everything we can to reassure people and encourage them to contact their GP practice if something doesn’t feel right – no matter the result, there is so much support and help out there and if there is a problem it is far better to pick this up early.”

More information on cancer signs and symptoms is available at:

Watch BBC Midlands Today's coverage of the bus visiting Coventry:

And here are a selection of photos from the day:

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