Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer, with more than 2,000,000 people diagnosed worldwide each year, and is the leading cause of cancer death globally. If diagnosed at an earlier stage, patients have a 13 times higher likelihood of living for five years.
Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Other risk factors for lung cancer include being exposed to secondhand smoke, having a family history of lung cancer, being treated with radiation therapy to the breast or chest, exposure to asbestos, chromium, nickel, arsenic, soot, or tar in the workplace, and exposure to radon. When smoking is combined with other risk factors, the risk of lung cancer is increased.
What are the symptoms?
- coughing up blood
- a new or changed cough that doesn’t go away
- chest pain and/or shoulder pain or discomfort – the pain may be worse with coughing or deep breathing
- trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- hoarse voice
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- chest infection that doesn’t go away
- tiredness or weakness
Many conditions can cause these symptoms, not just lung cancer.
Anyone can get lung cancer, even if they have never smoked. If you have any of these symptoms and they are persistent, talk to your doctor.