Lung cancer: The sign in your cough that could be signalling the condition

Dr Chris discusses CT scans detecting lung cancer

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The minor signs, say the NHS, are a cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks or a long-standing cough that gets worse.

The major sign is far more dramatic and is coughing up blood.

Other potential causes of coughing up blood include:
• A long-lasting or severe cough
• A lung or airway infection like a chest infection, pneumonia or bronchitis
• A problem with your airways that causes them to widen and produce more mucus

The other symptoms of lung cancer include chest infections that keep coming back and an ache or pain when breathing or coughing.

Furthermore, persistent breathlessness, the feeling of being out of breath, may also be a symptom.

A persistent tiredness or lack of energy and loss of appetite alongside unexplained weight loss can also be signs of lung cancer.

The NHS says less common signs of lung cancer include:
• Changes in the appearance of your fingers
• Difficulty swallowing
• Wheezing
• A hoarse voice
• Swelling of your face and neck
• Persistent chest or shoulder pain

What can people do to lower their risk of developing lung cancer?

The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking.

So, if you smoke, it’s best to quit as the NHS says it’s responsible for 70 percent of cases.

The health body states: “If you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day, you are 25 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker”.

It isn’t just smoking cigarettes that can affect your chances.

If you smoke cigars, pipe tobacco, powdered forms of tobacco or chew tobacco, these will all be increasing your risk.

Even if you don’t smoke, if you’re frequently exposed to other people’s smoking, known as passive smoking, this can increase your risk.

Exposure to certain chemicals at work can also increase your risk.

Chemicals present on building sites that can increase your risk of lung cancer include arsenic, asbestos, beryllium and cadmium can pose a danger to your health.

If you are handling these chemicals, it is important to wear special equipment to protect yourself.

Research also suggests that exposure to diesel fumes over many years could increase your risk of developing lung cancer by around a third.

If you have any concerns about your health or in relation to lung cancer specifically, consult your GP.

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