The Department of Health is promoting an important health message during May and June – "don’t ignore a cough you have had for some time".
You may have got used to your cough and ignore it, but if you have had it for 3 weeks or more, you should visit your GP, it could be a sign of lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the North of England and more people die of lung cancer here than of any other cancer. There are around 2,900 new cases every year and it kills about 2,400 people a year in our region.
In Sunderland that’s an average of 321 cases and 255 deaths every year.
Lung cancer affects people of all ages but mostly in those over 50 years old and, although it is more common in smokers, around one in eight people with lung cancer has never smoked.
The risk of lung cancer gets worse as you get older, but finding it early makes it easier to treat. So don’t ignore the symptoms or put off a trip to the doctor. It can make the world of difference and you won’t be wasting anyone’s time.
Some of the other symptoms of lung cancer include:
- A cough that has got worse or changes
- Repeated chest infections
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling more tired than usual for some time
- Losing weight for no obvious reason
- An ache or pain in your chest or shoulder that has lasted some time.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible. And if you know anyone who has symptoms, insist they see their doctor.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/lungcancer
In addition a number of roadshows have been arranged across the area, details of which are listed below:
- Monday 4 June & Tuesday 5 June - The Galleries, Washington
- Wednesday 6 June & Thursday 7 June - The Bridiges, Sunderland
- Friday 8 June and Saturday 9 June - Castle Dene, Peterlee