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Lung cancer signs awareness call

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Thursday November 03, 2005 (0141 PST)

Getting worrying symptoms early is crucial, experts say Campaigners are aiming to raise awareness of the early signs of lung cancer, which kills 92 people each day.

They say 80% of people are diagnosed too late to have potentially life-saving operations.

Macmillan Cancer Relief and The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation say more lives could be saved if the disease was detected sooner.

And they warned that people who did not smoke could still be at risk of the disease.

Just because you don`t smoke it doesn`t mean you aren`t at risk

Professor Jessica Corner, Macmillan Cancer Relief

Although the majority of cases are linked to smoking, 10% of lung cancers are not.

The main symptoms of lung cancer include chest infections that won`t go away, even with antibiotics, having a cough for more than three weeks and coughing up blood.

People having any of these symptoms, especially current or former smokers, should consult their GP.

At the moment, lung cancer kills around 35,000 people a year in Britain.

Experts say one in 10 could be eligible for an operation which may save their lives.

Survival boost

Professor Jessica Corner, Macmillan`s director for improving cancer services, said: "Lung cancer is the UK`s biggest cancer killer.

"Early diagnosis saves lives. People must get checked out if they show any symptoms.

"Just because you don`t smoke it doesn`t mean you aren`t at risk."

The two charities are launching a campaign to raise awareness of the disease during Global Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November.

Posters, leaflets and beer-mats highlighting the symptoms of lung cancer and the importance of early diagnosis are being distributed at GP surgeries, pharmacies, hospitals, libraries and pubs across the UK.

Dr Jesme Baird, director of patient care at The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, said: "Our posters and leaflets tell people what to look out for and encourages them to seek medical advice early, ensuring they have the very best chance of survival."

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