Persistent Cough Could Be Lung Cancer Warning Signs – Are You At Risk ?

Lung cancer is the UK’s biggest cancer killer. It kills more people each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer and leukaemia combined. But it can be cured if it’s caught early enough.

There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer. However, symptoms develop as the disease progresses.

The main symptoms of lung cancer are listed below. If you have any of these, you must see your GP:

  • a cough that doesn’t go away after two to three weeks
  • a long-standing cough that gets worse
  • persistent chest infections
  • coughing up blood
  • unexplained persistent breathlessness
  • unexplained persistent tiredness or lack of energy
  • unexplained persistent weight loss
  • persistent chest or shoulder pain

Less common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger (this is known as finger clubbing)
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
  • wheezing
  • a hoarse voice
  • swelling of your face
Lung cancer accounts for one in 14 of all deaths in the UK and one in four of all cancer deaths, according to the UK Lung Cancer Coalition (UKLCC). This is a group of leading lung cancer experts, healthcare companies and charities with an interest in the disease, who have joined together to fight lung cancer.  Most cases of  lung cancers are in smokers (or ex-smokers), but lung cancer can affect anyone at any age. Smoking is not the only cause, as one in eight people with lung cancer have never smoked a cigarette.

Smoking is the main risk factor for lung cancer. Four out of 10 smokers who start smoking in their early teens and continue to smoke will not live to claim their pension.

There are other risk factors for lung cancer, including:

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