Lung cancer is not a 'death sentence'

At the launch of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Health Minister Rosie Winterton has emphasised that early diagnosis of lung cancer can mean a vastly improved survival rate.

Lung cancer X-ray
Rosie Winterton said: ‘Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK but people don't realise that if it is caught early enough it doesn't have to be a death sentence. This is why Lung Cancer Awareness Month is so important. Working in partnership with the voluntary sector, we must ensure that people are aware of the symptoms and know to seek professional help at the earliest opportunity.’

Nearly 38,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year, and survival rates are vastly improved if the condition is caught early. Symptoms to look out for include:
  • A cough that doesn't go away after two or three weeks.
  • Worsening of a long-standing cough or coughing up blood.
  • Persistent chest infections, breathlessness or tiredness.
  • Persistent weight loss and chest or shoulder pain.
  • More split or phlegm, especially with blood in it.
  • Losing your voice but no sore throat
  • Swelling in your face or neck.
Speaking on behalf of the coalition of charities coordinating the awareness month, Ernie Roberts, who had lung cancer, said:

‘Lung cancer is curable if it is diagnosed early enough. The message for this year's Lung Cancer Awareness Month is simple: see your doctor straight away if you have any of the symptoms of lung cancer. These symptoms may not be serious, in which case, you've got nothing to lose by getting them checked out. If they are serious, you've got everything to gain - diagnosis at an early stage could save your life.’

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