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Lung cancer: Have you had a new cough for longer than two weeks? That is a sign

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Sumaiya Patel, Pharmacist at Pharmacy2U says there are several other early symptoms of lung cancer which may occur. Patel said: “Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK and is the most common cause of cancer death, so early detection often allows for a higher likelihood of successful treatment. The earlier a cancer is diagnosed when it is still at stage I or II, for example, the better the prognosis.”

The pharmacist added: “However, unlike other cancers, there are usually no early symptoms.”

Patel said as the condition progresses symptoms that develop include a new cough that lasts longer than two weeks.

Other signs include:

  • Continuous chest infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • Ache in the chest when breathing
  • Breathlessness
  • Unexplained weight loss

She said: “If you have noticed any of the above symptoms contact your GP.

“They will ask you about your symptoms and get you to breathe into a device called a spirometer, which measures how much air you breathe in and out.”

Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer, according to the NHS.

The health body says around 47,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK.

Cancer Research says that the most common symptoms of lung cancer are having a cough most of the time, having a change in a cough you have had for a long time, and chest infections that keep coming back or a chest infection that doesn’t get better.

The charity adds that losing your appetite, feeling tired all the time, and losing weight are all signs.

“A cough is also a symptom of coronavirus. It is still important to contact your GP if you have a new or worsening cough.

“They can speak to you over the phone or by a video call and arrange for tests if you need them,” the charity notes.

The NHS has also outlined some less common symptoms of lung cancer, which some people may not be aware of.

These actually include changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger. This is known as finger clubbing.

Some people may also notice swelling of their face or neck, or persistent chest or shoulder pain.

Moffit Cancer Centre says there are early stage lung cancer signs, though it says: “In many cases, lung cancer signs do not become apparent or prompt an individual to seek medical attention until the tumour reaches an advanced stage.”

Smoking tobacco is the biggest cause of lung cancer in the UK. Cancer Research says seven out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking.

The NHS states if you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day, you are 25 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker.

Sumaiya Patel said: “The main cause of lung cancer is smoking. However long you have been smoking, it is worth quitting. After 10 years of not smoking, your chances of developing lung cancer fall to half of someone who smokes.

“A balanced diet and ensuring you get regular exercise can lower the risk of lung cancers and cancers in general. Aim to make exercise a habit with at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.”

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