Published Fri, 2010-12-03 13:45; updated 34 weeks ago.
Spot lung cancer early
Watch our video to find out more about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, and why spotting lung cancer early is important.
Signs of lung cancer
There are many signs of lung cancer, but they usually include:
- a cough that persists for two or three weeks, or a worsening or changing of a long standing cough
- repeated chest infections
- coughing up blood
- unexplained persistent breathlessness, tiredness or lack of energy,
- or weight loss
- persistent chest or shoulder pain.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP immediately. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got lung cancer, but it’s best to get it checked out.The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the better the chance of treatment being successful.
For help registering with a GP, visit www.nhs.uk or call 0845 46 47.
Smoking and lung cancer
By far the most common cause of lung cancer is smoking. About nine in 10 cases of lung cancer are directly because of tobacco.
But around one in 10 cases are in people who have never smoked. Anyone can develop lung cancer, so it is very important that if you have any signs and symptoms associated with your chest, that you get them checked out.
“"People don’t always recognise the signs and symptoms of lung cancer. They think if they’ve never smoked it can’t happen to them".”
Alison Bennett, lung cancer nurse specialist
It is always worth giving up smoking, no matter how long you have smoked. You will reduce your risk of developing lung cancer and other serious diseases, or increase your chance of responding to treatment for lung cancer.
If you need help to give up smoking, you can always speak to your GP, the nurse in the surgery, or your pharmacist. You can also call the free NHS helpline on 0800 022 4 332.
“"If you’ve got any signs at all, whether you smoke or not, if you’re coughing a lot or getting out of breath, getting tired or not being able to do the things that you used to do, then go and see your doctor. If you go early enough, you’ve a good chance of surviving".”
Mike Edwards, lung cancer survivor
“"I’m sure I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t gone to my doctor. Being diagnosed with lung cancer is certainly not a death sentence. There’s so much that can be done, and there is life after cancer".”
Ann Long, lung cancer survivor
Taken from Cancer Research UK