Help raise awareness during Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Added 22/11/2010

Stethoscope on a book

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer Research UK and other cancer charities are urging the public to look out for signs of lung cancer. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK and nearly 40,000 people are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Classical singer Katherine Jenkins has teamed up with Macmillan Cancer Support to help raise awareness during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. She lost her father to the disease when she was just 15 and as a singer, she knows how important it is to look after her lungs. Katherine Jenkins has helped Macmillan Cancer Support highlight the fact that the number of lung cancer cases has decreased in men, but increased among women over the last 10 years.

Smoking is one of the main causes of lung cancer and nine in 10 lung cancer patients are smokers. If you stop smoking, then the chances of you contracting lung cancer reduces immediately. But a small proportion of people that suffer from lung cancer have never smoked. Radon gas, air pollution and a history of lung cancer in the family can also sometimes increase your risk of lung cancer.

Research has suggested that leading an active lifestyle and eating a healthy diet could lower your risk of lung cancer. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables and less sugary, salty or fatty foods. And it goes without saying that if you are a smoker, quitting can help to keep your lungs healthy.

Keep an eye out for the symptoms of lung cancer. The most common signs include coughing, being short of breath, pain when breathing, loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue. In more advanced cases of lung cancer, you could develop a hoarse voice, trouble swallowing and inflammation of the face or neck. If you develop any such symptoms, visit your GP immediately. Early detection of lung cancer could save your life.

Be aware of lung cancer during Lung Cancer Awareness Month, but remember to look out for the symptoms at any time of the year, particularly if you are a smoker.