It’s November, the Lung Cancer Awareness Month! Millions of people die due to lung cancer, and smoking is considered one of the largest causes. Since lung cancer is a very common disease, it is important that you be aware of the signs and symptoms.
Lung cancer is common, irrespective of age and gender. Smoking is the chief cause of lung cancer; however, non-smokers may also get it. In the United Kingdom, six in 10 people are diagnosed with lung cancer, while most of them are 70 and above. It is essential to look for changes, if any, and when to see a specialist.
Do not panic if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms, just get them checked.
- A chronic cough that persist for more than three weeks
- A change in a cough that lasts for a longer duration
- Chronic chest congestion
- Persistent chest or respiratory infections
- Breathlessness on slightest exertion or even at rest without any reason
- A cough with bloody expectoration
- A change in voice or hoarseness that lasts for more than three weeks
- Chest pain that doesn’t get better
- Chronic generalized weakness
These signs and symptoms are also seen in people with bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, chest infections, pneumonia and bronchial issues. If you have these symptoms, do not ignore them, instead consult your GP right away. Early detection with timely treatment promotes good prognosis.
If you are a smoker and experience these symptoms, the first thing you need to do is quit smoking. Studies have found that smoking cessation significantly decreases the risk of lung cancer. There are a few ways to quit smoking. Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is available in the form of chewing gums, skin patches, etc. NRT is found to be the most effective way of smoking cessation. You can ask your GP for other ways of quitting smoking.