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
- a hoarse voice
- swelling of your face
There are other risk factors for lung cancer, including:
- passive smoking (second-hand smoking)
- exposure to radon gas
- exposure to asbestos and other chemicals
- a poor diet
- a family history of lung cancer
- Women are risking their lives because they do not realise they are more likely to die from lung cancer than any other form of the disease, a study has found.
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