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Support lung cancer awareness month

Brother and sister Seb and Isabelle Hopper show off their trophies.
Brother and sister Seb and Isabelle Hopper show off their trophies.

NOVEMBER is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, supported by the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, and this year’s aim is to encourage people displaying the common symptoms of lung cancer, such as a persistent cough to visit their GP.

Health leaders from NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are encouraging people to become more aware of the main symptoms; a persistent cough, coughing up blood, persistent breathlessness, unexplained weight loss or tiredness or an ache or pain when breathing or coughing.

Lung cancer mainly affects older people. It's rare in people younger than 40, and the rates of lung cancer rise sharply with age. Lung cancer is most commonly diagnosed in people aged 70-74.

This campaign aptly follows ‘Stoptober’, which encourages smokers to quit smoking for the month of October. Although people who have never smoked can develop lung cancer, smoking is the main cause (accounting for over 85% of cases).

Lung cancer doesn't usually cause noticeable symptoms until it's spread through the lungs or into other parts of the body. This means the outlook for the condition isn't as good as many other types of cancer.

However, survival rates can vary widely, depending on how far the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis. Early diagnosis can make a big difference.

To support this year’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month people are encouraged to spread the word by organising an awareness day at work and if they have been affected by lung cancer, sharing their story via their social media pages.

Dr David Spraggett, Chair of NHS South Warwickshire CCG, said:

“A cough that has lasted three weeks or more can also be a sign of lung cancer, which is why it's so important to see your doctor. Early detection makes it easier to treat. Seeing your doctor could save your life.”

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