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The Harsh Realities Of Lung Cancer

Did you know that November is lung cancer awareness month?

Don’t worry if you don’t. It’s one of the lesser-known awareness months - even though it’s one of the more common types of cancer. Unlike Breast Cancer awareness month, which is all about encouraging you to check yourself, Lung Cancer awareness month is all about bringing attention to those common symptoms of lung cancer. And about encouraging anyone experiencing them to visit their GP for a check-up. Because, unlike other cancers, the symptoms of lung cancer can look like a lot of normal illnesses, which is why it’s considered one of the most dangerous.


The Key Facts On Lung Cancer


Before we look at the symptoms, let’s take a look at some of the facts on lung cancer. For example, did you know that:

  • Lung cancer kills more people in the UK than any other cancer

  • The majority of lung cancer cases are first identified in A&E

  • Most lung cancer cases are diagnosed after it has already spread

  • Cases of lung cancer are still on the rise

  • The earlier the cancer is found, the better the prognosis

  • The five-year survival rate for advanced forms of cancer is as low as 6%

  • People with CPOPD have 3.33 times the risk of developing lung cancer compared to smokers without COPD

We know it seems scary, but that’s why we’re so keen to spread awareness. Because despite being the most common, it’s also the one you’re least likely to notice.


Common Symptoms Of Lung Cancer


The thing that makes lung cancer so deadly isn’t the cancer itself – it’s that most people don’t show symptoms until the cancer is incredibly advanced. Some people just feel generally unwell, while others may experience:

  • Coughing that gets worse or doesn’t go away

  • Chest pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Wheezing

  • Coughing up blood

  • Feeling very tired all the time

  • Weight loss with no known cause

As you can see, all of these symptoms can look like a general illness, or something less serious. That’s why it’s so important that if you’re experiencing any of them you get yourself checked – even if you aren’t sure.


See Your GP If…


So the real question is, how do you know if your symptoms are something completely harmless, or if you need to see a doctor about them? Generally, it’s advised to make an appointment with your GP if:

  • You have a persistent cough that won’t go away after 3 weeks

  • You’re coughing up blood-streaked mucus

  • You have a chest infection that keeps coming back

  • Are experiencing breathlessness


And please, don’t ever feel like you’re wasting their time by asking for these appointments. Early detection is critical for lung cancer, so taking action quickly is important. Even if your GP thinks it’s nothing to be concerned about, you will be glad to have peace of mind.

At Jill’s Fundraising Journey we know the cost of late detection. Jill’s cancer may have been curable if it had been found much sooner, rather than taking us from her in just 9 short months. So please, if you have any of the symptoms above, make an appointment and get checked.

Choose to be proactive and spread awareness too! And if you know anyone who has been affected by lung cancer (or any type of cancer) please put them in touch with Jill’s Fundraising Journey. We provide free holidays to people affected by cancer, along with privately paid holidays for anyone who wants a break in the gorgeous scenery of New Milton. All you have to do is fill in the form on our website, and one of our team will get in touch.

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