Lung cancer is mostly caused by smoking, with 72 percent of cases attributed to the unhealthy habit. What recurring health condition could signal you have the deadly disease?
The survival rates of lung cancer depends on what stage a cancerous tumour is identified.
Typically, the sooner cancer is discovered, the more likely the chances of a full recovery.
Cancer Research UK point out that one troubling symptom of lung cancer can include recurring chest infections.
Additionally, symptoms of a chest infection include fever, headache, aching muscles and feeling fatigued.
Usually an unpleasant experience, chest infections tend to get better on their own in about seven to 10 days.
The NHS suggest certain steps to take if you find you keep getting chest infections.
Firstly, the national health body recommends asking your GP about the annual flu job.
Secondly, ask your GP if you should have the pneumococcal vaccine – this helps to prevent pneumonia.
Thirdly, it advises to stop smoking and to cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink – if any, at all.
While you’re at the doctors for a recurring chest infection, do not scratch out the idea of lung cancer.
Cancer Research UK lists other symptoms of lung cancer. These include:
- Having a cough most of the time
- Having a change in a cough you have had for a long time – it may sound different or be painful when you cough
- Getting out of breath doing the things you used to do without a problem
- Coughing up phlegm (sputum) with blood in it
- Having an ache or pain in the chest or shoulder
- Losing your appetite
- Feeling tired all the time (fatigue)
- Losing weight
A discussion about your symptoms with a doctor may lead to a hospital referral.
At present, there’s no national screening for lung cancer in the UK.
However, some parts of England may be eligible for the lung health check service.
For people to be invited – by phone call or letter – to the lung health check, you must live in one of the eligible areas, be registered to a GP, have ever smoked and be between the ages of 55 to 75.
There are 14 areas in the UK where the NHS Lung Health Checks are taking place. These are:
- Mansfield And Ashfield
- North Kirklees
- Tameside & Glossop
- Blackburn with Darwen
During a lung health check, you’d be asked to breathe into a device called a spirometer.
This device measures the amount of air you breathe in and to, as well as how quickly you breathe.
If your results show you are at a higher risk of lung cancer, you’ll be offered lung cancer screening.