NOVEMBER is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Macmillan Cancer Support is encouraging people to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease.
Lung cancer is common in both men and women, with around 47,200 cases diagnosed every year. Smoking cigarettes is the main cause of lung cancer, but non-smokers get it too. More than four in 10 people (44%) who are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK are aged 75 and over.
Sion Davies, Macmillan Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, said: “Knowing what changes to look for and when to see your doctor could make a real difference. Don’t be scared if you have symptoms, get them checked.”
The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
• A cough that lasts for three weeks or more.
• A change in a cough you have had for a long time.
• A chest infection that doesn’t get better, or having repeated chest infections.
• Feeling breathless and wheezy for no reason.
• Coughing up blood.
• A hoarse voice that lasts for three weeks or more.
• Pain in your chest or shoulder that doesn’t get better.
Other possible symptoms are:
losing weight for no obvious reason
Sion, who also sees patients at Prince Philip Hospital in Llanelli, added: “If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to have them checked by your GP. They can be caused by other lung conditions or by smoking. But if you do have cancer, the sooner it’s found, the better.”
If you need support or just want someone to talk to about lung cancer, our specialists are available at the Macmillan Information and Support Service at Glangwili Hospital, from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
You can also call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk