Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Are you aware of these 5 subtle symptoms?

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November the 1st marks the beginning of the Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

With around 130 new cases of lung cancer in the UK every day, recognising the symptoms and potential warning signs is crucial.

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 21% of all the UK cancer deaths, and around three-quarters of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage.

This is often because the symptoms won’t show up until the tumour has reached a relevant size and symptoms are often confused with other general conditions.

White flags line Courthouse Square in downtown #Scranton, a representation of lung cancer deaths this year. November is lung cancer awareness month.— Clayton Over (@ClaytonOver) October 29, 2018

It’s been shown that 79% of lung cancer cases are preventable. So, knowing and recognising the symptoms of lung cancer is really important. If you experience any of these symptoms for more than three weeks, book an appointment and speak to your GP.

1. A cough

This is the most common and misleading symptom, as it’s such a general condition that can be often be chalked up to cold or flu. Most of the time, if a cough is accompanied by running nose and sore throat, there’s nothing to worry about – it’s probably a seasonal infection which will disappear in a few days.

However, if the cough has been persistent for more than three weeks and is accompanied by blood or rust-coloured mucus, it might be a sign of lung cancer.

November, Lung Cancer Awareness Month, provides the opportunity to raise community awareness of lung cancer and the signs and symptoms of the disease. Visit here for more information.— Ninti One (@ninti_one) October 30, 2018

2. Feeling out of breath

Breathlessness after working out at the gym or after climbing up few flights of stairs is normal and shortness of breath is also connected to other causes, such as a common cold, chest infections, panic attacks and smoking. But if you experience regular shortness of breath, especially when there is no obvious reason (like when you’re sitting down and relaxed), then it might be a symptom of lung cancer.

3. Chest pain

Most chest pain, especially if mild and short-lived, shouldn’t be a sign of anything serious. However, in some cases, persistent chest pain may be a sign that your lungs are not working correctly and so might be connected to lung cancer.

Smoking accounts for 72% of all lung cancer cases (Thinkstock/PA)

4. Feeling tired, loss of appetite and weight loss

Unexplained weight loss of 10lbs or more may be the first sign of cancer. Moreover, people with lung cancer may find difficulty in chewing and swallowing as well as nausea or lack of appetite.

Cancer cells use a huge amount of the body’s energy supply, so another common symptom that accompanies weight loss is excessive tiredness and fatigue.

5. A hoarse voice

Abnormal voice chances, such as the voice sounding raspy or breathy, is often due to a disorder related to the vocal cords such as laryngitis. But if it goes on for more than three weeks, get it checked out – it could be a sign you have laryngeal cancer.

- Press Association


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