Know the signs of lung cancer

Dr Stephen Rowan, Consultant Respiratory Physician, South Eastern HSC Trust, is urging people to make sure they know the signs of lung cancer.

Pictured left to right are: Karen Foden, Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist, Dr Stephen Rowan, Consultant Respiratory Physician and Jenny Osborne, Lung Cancer Nurse Specialist

Anyone can develop lung cancer; men and women, young and old, smokers and non-smokers. More than 1300 people in Northern Ireland are diagnosed with lung cancer each year and around 1000 people die from the disease so it’s vital that everyone knows the signs and symptoms.

The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:

· having a cough most of the time

· having a change in a cough that you have had for a long time - it may sound different or be painful when you cough

· getting out of breath doing the things you used to do without a problem

· coughing up phlegm (sputum) with blood in it

· having an ache or pain in the chest or shoulder

· chest infections that keep coming back or a chest infection that doesn’t get better

· losing your appetite

· feeling tired all the time (fatigue)

· losing weight

Dr Stephen Rowan, Consultant Respiratory Physician, South Eastern HSC Trust explained the importance of early diagnosis. “Lung cancer unfortunately is frequently diagnosed late.,” he said. “The most important thing remains to be that the earlier it is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. Looking out for the symptoms of lung cancer and early discussion with your doctor can make all the difference.”