Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. Over 41,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK.
Lung cancer mainly affects older people. It is rare in people younger than 40, but the rates of lung cancer rise sharply with age. Lung cancer is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 70-74 years.
Although people who have never smoked can develop lung cancer, smoking is the main cause (about 90% of cases). This is because smoking involves regularly inhaling a number of different toxic substances.
Signs and symptoms
Many people don’t realise that a cough that lasts for three weeks or more can often be the sign of lung problems. So if you’ve had a cough for more than three weeks you should see your doctor. Of course, in the vast majority of cases it won’t be serious.
Many people with lung cancer will eventually develop symptoms including:
- A persistent cough
- Coughing up blood
- Persistent breathlessness
- Unexplained tiredness and weight loss
- An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
It is important that if you have any of the symptoms above you speak to your doctor.
Reduce the risk of lung cancer – go smokefree
Most cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking, although people who have never smoked can also develop the condition.
Smoking cigarettes is the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer. It is responsible for about 90% of all cases. If you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day, you are 25 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker.
While smoking cigarettes is the biggest risk factor, using other types of tobacco products can also increase your risk of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer, such asoesophageal cancer and mouth cancer.
These products include:
- Pipe tobacco
- Snuff (a powdered form of tobacco)
- Chewing tobacco
- Cannabis (linked to an increased risk of lung cancer).
Getting NHS support really works – It can be four times more successful than going it alone and it’s completely free of charge. Why not try it? You have nothing to lose.
Tel: 0800 169 4219.
Stopping smoking is the single most helpful thing you can do to improve your health and the health of the people around you. Every year more and more people quit smoking, and enjoy the better health, wealth, lifestyle and life expectancy this can bring.
Visit One You Leeds for further information.