Residents in Lancashire and South Cumbria are being urged not to ignore the signs and symptoms of lung cancer this winter.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and as respiratory viruses such as flu and COVID-19 continue to circulate and the weather turns colder, doctors are concerned people may ignore the vital warning signs.
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK with nearly 50,000 people diagnosed each year and around three-quarters of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage when difficult to treat.
This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, doctors are keen to raise awareness of seven key signs and symptoms associated with the disease. They include:
- A cough that doesn’t go away after three weeks
- Chest infections that keep coming back
- Coughing up blood
- Aches and pain when breathing or coughing
- Persistent breathlessness
- Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
Dr Neil Smith, GP lead and cancer director for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK with almost 27,000 people dying from the disease each year but the earlier we can diagnose it, the more chance we have to cure it.
“If you have had a persistent cough for three weeks or more, feel aches or pains when breathing or coughing, are coughing up blood, or showing any of the other symptoms of lung cancer, please contact your GP.
“We know that a persistent cough is also a common symptom of COVID-19, but the other symptoms are generally not connected. If you’ve got a history of smoking, including passive smoking, or have been exposed to certain chemicals and substances like asbestos that is known to increase your risk of lung cancer it’s especially important to get the above symptoms checked. Early diagnosis saves lives.”
More about lung cancer
- Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the country, with nearly 50,000 new cases in the UK each year.
- It is more common in people living in the most deprived areas and increases as people get older.
- More men are diagnosed with lung cancer than women.
- Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 21 percent of all cancer deaths.