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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

The aim of the campaign is to encourage people displaying the common symptoms of lung cancer, such as a persistent cough, breathlessness, or unexplained weight loss, to visit their GP.

Cigarette smoking is the top risk factor for lung cancer, with the Centers for Disease Control estimating more than 80% of all cases are caused by tobacco use. Unfortunately, about 70% of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage when survival rates are low.

Low-dose computed tomography, known as a CT scan, is key for identifying lung cancer early. But screening rates are shockingly low. Only 1% of those at high risk of lung cancer are getting screened, which is significantly lower than the national rate of 6%.

Symptoms of lung cancer

Lung cancer is often identified before symptoms occur, but some people with early lung cancer may experience symptoms.

  • A cough that does not go away or gets worse

  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum (spit or phlegm)

  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing

  • Hoarseness

  • Loss of appetite

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Shortness of breath

  • Feeling tired or weak

  • Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back

  • New onset of wheezing

And it is never too late to quit smoking. If you or someone you love needs assistance quitting smoking, please reach out to National Tobacco Control Programme

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