WATCH: Leo Varadkar joins the Big Check Up to highlight the warning signs of lung cancer this winter

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WATCH: Leo Varadkar joins the Big Check Up to highlight the warning signs of lung cancer this winter

An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has answered the Marie Keating Foundation’s call and joined the Big Check Up campaign to highlight the warning signs of lung cancer, particularly a persistent cough.

The Tánaiste has recorded a video to encourage anyone with a persistent cough to get it checked. Ultimately, the campaign aims to save lives and detect lung cancer as early as possible.

“I want us all to do the Big Check Up. It’s about catching lung cancer out. If you have a persistent cough, that’s been going on for more than three weeks, you need to get it checked and call your GP,” said Mr Varadkar.

His video call with Neale Richmond T.D., gives a glimpse at a more light-hearted side to their friendship, in keeping with the tone of the campaign which uses humour to communicate a serious message. The call shows the two men discussing the warning signs of lung cancer and whether Neale might actually get to meet Ronan Keating.

“We so appreciate An Tánaiste getting behind the campaign and bringing awareness to a really important health message which needs attention particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic. We’re very grateful to him and to Neale for their support and for being such good sports for a great cause," said Jennifer Cimerman, Director of Communications, Marie Keating Foundation.

Other familiar faces also joined the Big Check Up, launched by Maia Dunphy, and created personal videos to encourage anyone concerned about a cough to speak to their GP.

Gogglebox twin, and Cavan native, Neal zoomed in on his brother Fergal to encourage anyone over 50 with a persistent cough to get it checked. Watch the Tully Twins talk about lung cancer and find out if they think Cavan will beat Dublin in the All-Ireland Championships:

Broadcaster Mark Cagney received a call from his daughter Mary who shared some advice regarding the sneaky nature of a cough associated with lung cancer, which can hide behind other coughs, including flu and COVID-19.

Lung cancer is Ireland’s biggest cancer killer, with sadly 1,854 deaths each year. Early detection is crucial to improve survival rates as lung cancer is often very treatable when caught early. To help with early detection, the Marie Keating Foundation has launched the world’s first phone-line 1800-COUGHS (1800-268447) to catch lung cancer out this winter.

The Big Check Up, supported by Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), MSD and Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd, aims to encourage the Irish public to check up on their family and friends this coughing season, encouraging them to take notice of ‘that’ cough and get it checked by their GP. 

To find out more about lung cancer and the Big Check Up, visit: www.mariekeating.ie/thebigcheckup/