This high mortality rate is due to late diagnosis in too many cases.
Over 39,000 people are diagnosed with the disease in the UK each year, making it the second most common cancer.
However, 10 per cent of this number have never smoked.
Each year in the UK 33,500 people die from lung cancer – making it the UK’s biggest killer disease
The cases of lung cancer in men in the UK have dropped but, as more women are taking up the habit, the numb
er of women developing the disease has risen.
The most common form of lung cancer among women and non-smokers is adenocarcinoma.
This tends to hit people who were former, light smokers – i.e. who only smoked a couple a day.
Why does it also develop in non-smokers? Is it the “passive smoking” syndrome of which Roy Castle was diagnosed?
As in all cancers, early detection is vital but all to often does not happen because people are unaware of the symptoms.
It is suggested that you visit the GP if you have any of the following symptoms:
- A cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks
- Worsening or change to long standing coughRepeated chest infections
- Coughing up blood
- Unexplained persistent breathlessness
- Unexplained persistent tiredness
- Unexplained persistent weight loss
- Persistent chest and/or shoulder pain
An important caveat – these symptoms can be caused by illnesses other than cancer but a visit to your GP is essential.