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Minister Launches Lung Cancer Awareness Month, UK


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Minister Launches Lung Cancer Awareness Month, UK

05 Nov 2006

To highlight the symptoms of lung cancer health minister Rosie Winterton today launched Lung Cancer Awareness Month at the Royal Mail's South London Mail Centre, where she heard first hand the experiences of lung cancer patients and met representatives from Royal Mail, the voluntary sector and health professionals.

Rosie Winterton said:

"Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK but people don't realise that if it is caught early enough it doesn't have to be a death sentence. This is why Lung Cancer Awareness Month is so important. Working in partnership with the voluntary sector, we must ensure that people are aware of the symptoms and know to seek professional help at the earliest opportunity."

Nearly 38,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year, and survival rates are vastly improved if the condition is caught early. Symptoms to look out for include:

A cough that doesn't go away after two or three weeks

Worsening of a long-standing cough or coughing up blood

Persistent chest infections, breathlessness or tiredness

Persistent weight loss and chest or shoulder pain

More split or phlegm, especially with blood in it

Losing your voice but no sore throat, or

Swelling in your face or neck.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition of charities coordinating the awareness month, Ernie Roberts, who had lung cancer, said:

"Lung cancer is curable if it is diagnosed early enough. The message for this year's Lung Cancer Awareness Month is simple: see your doctor straight away if you have any of the symptoms of lung cancer. These symptoms may not be serious, in which case, you've got nothing to lose by getting them checked out. If they are serious, you've got everything to gain - diagnosis at an early stage could save your life."

Dr Steve Boorman, Royal Mail's Director of Corporate and Social Responsibility, said:

"At Royal Mail, we recognise the benefits of a strong and proactive employee health service to raise awareness of health concerns such as lung cancer and offer easy-to-access advice, guidance and support as needed. Keeping our people fit and healthy is of paramount importance to Royal Mail - it's the right thing to do for our people and benefits our business through improved performance to customers and reduced operating costs due to ill health."

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Notes:

Rosie Winterton was speaking at the opening of a special bus which will tour Royal Mail sites and give information to their workforce on a range of health issues, including lung cancer. The Royal Mail and the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation are discussing opportunities to work in partnership on a pilot lung cancer awareness campaign for their employees. The Royal Mail were selected because of the large number of staff they employ, and their interest in supporting their workforce and improving their health

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LUNG CANCER

Your lungs are crucial to your health and it is important you look after them:

The lungs take in oxygen which is essential for the body to function.

Your lungs protect your body against infection from the germs you breathe in.

You can make a difference to your lung health:

By keeping physically active, you help keep your lungs healthy.

It is never too late to quit smoking. No matter at what age you stop, you can make a real difference to your health.

If you don't smoke, don't start.

Common symptoms of lung cancer include:

A cough that doesn't go away after two to three weeks

Worsening of a long-standing cough

Persistent chest infections

Coughing blood

Unexplained persistent breathlessness

Unexplained persistent tiredness or lack of energy

Unexplained persistent weight loss

Persistent chest and / or shoulder pain

More spit or phlegm, especially with blood in it

Losing your voice but no sore throat

Swelling in your face or neck.

There are many other causes of these symptoms, so just because you have some of them it does not mean you have lung cancer. However, these symptoms might mean something is wrong with your body. You should seek medical advice if you are concerned.

There are many places you can get help:

Check symptoms with a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or NHS Direct and mention your specific concerns. If you are concerned, request a chest x-ray from your doctor which can identify problems with your lungs.

If you want further advice, then you can contact a charity support line.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month is supported by: Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation; Macmillan Cancer Support; Cancer Research UK; Cancer Backup; British Lung Foundation; Men's Health Forum; Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain; National Electronic Library for Health; NICE; Department of Health; AS Biss.

For further information please go to:

UK Department of Health

Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medical ... wsid=55586

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I just need to add that to all who have been or are still smokers to get a yearly ct scan. It will catch the cancer in it earliest stage before there are any symptoms. If you are having any symptoms a ct scan is what you will need not an xray. An xray will miss what a ct scan will show. I am not a doctor but have learned alot from going thru this. I was a smoker for many years and was afraid that I might get Lung Cancer. I saw Claudia Henske book Lung Cancer. After reading it I took her advice and started getting yearly CT scans. On my 3rd year of getting them, a small spot showed up on my right upper lung.I am thankful to still be here with my family. I hope this will inspire other to do the same. Take care of yourself. Bev

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