Lung cancer is very common.
In the UK, about 44,500 people are diagnosed with it each year. It claims over 35,400 lives each year.
Smoking causes around 89% of lung cancer deaths. Passive smoking and air pollution can also increase your risk.
Mark is a local fire and rescue officer. His lung cancer was caught early.
"I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012 after having shoulderpains which were a symptom of the pneumonia I had had before. I collapsed and fortunately a doctor then made the cancer diagnosis.
“After successful treatment and rehabilitation, I have eventuallynow been able to return to what I love doing best and that's being a firefighter.
“People should know that they need to speak up if they haverepeat chest infections or any of the other common symptoms of lung cancer. Don’t be afraid to see your doctor. Making that appointment and getting looked at could well save your life. Even if you are a smoker and have a smoker’s cough, you should still see your GP if the cough changes in any way. ”
If you don’t have one, the NHS service search will help you find a GP near you.
- An unexplained cough for more than three weeks
- A change in a cough you have had for a long time
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood/blood in the phlegm
- Repeated chest infections
- A lasting chest or shoulder pain
- Unexplained tiredness
- Unexplained weight loss
Remember, these symptoms may not point to cancer but early diagnosis means it can be more easily and effectively treated. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, go and see your GP.
If you attend your GP with a lung symptom and are referred for a specialist appointment, you can expect to be offered an appointment within two weeks of the referral being received. Make sure you attend.NEED HELP MAKING A GP APPOINTMENT?
No matter what age you are, stopping smoking not only reduces your chances of developing lung cancer but it also makes a positive difference to your general health.
Support from local stop smoking services is the most effective in helping people to stop smoking along with stop smoking medications and e-cigarettes to tackle the cravings.