Lung Cancer Awareness month – November 2015

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Medical Negligence on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

November was Lung Cancer Awareness month. Lung cancer remains the world’s biggest cancer killer, and 44,500 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK.

Although rates continue to fall amongst men, it is alarming to note that rates in women are rising. According to the most recent figures published by Cancer Research UK, lung cancer has risen by a staggering 73% in women over the last forty years.

November was Lung Cancer Awareness month. Lung cancer remains the world’s biggest cancer killer, and 44,500 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK.

Although rates continue to fall amongst men, it is alarming to note that rates in women are rising. According to the most recent figures published by Cancer Research UK, lung cancer has risen by a staggering 73% in women over the last forty years.

Tragically, more than two-thirds of people are diagnosed too late for them to receive curative treatment, and less that 10% of those diagnosed are still alive five years after diagnosis.

Cancer Research UK is working hard to improve understanding of this deadly disease, but it is vital that we all know what to look out for to ensure diagnosis is made as early as possible.

I have been involved in several cases over the years involving lung disease, and know that early diagnosis and treatment is imperative. In one such case, a patient was referred to hospital by his GP after a chest x-ray showed a shadow on his lung. He was seen by a specialist and underwent further x-rays and scans, which confirmed a cancerous tumour in his lung. The gentleman underwent surgery to remove the lower part of his lung within about 10 weeks of his initial referral, and kept under review for the following year. Apart from some mild symptoms of breathlessness, the cancer had not spread and he was subsequently confirmed as cured.

This demonstrates how important it is to know what to look out for and to seek medical advice accordingly. Whilst there are usually no signs or symptoms in the very early stages of lung cancer, many people with the condition eventually develop symptoms including;

  • a persistent cough;
  • coughing up blood;
  • persistent breathlessness;
  • unexplained tiredness and weight loss;
  • an ache or pain when breathing or coughing.

According to the NHS website you should see your GP if you have these symptoms.

Although eradicating lung cancer altogether remains an enormous challenge, there are a number of clinical trials and genetic research programs going on, and you can find more details on the Cancer Research UK website.

In the meantime, if we share this information and continue to support research into this awful disease we can all make a difference.

James Sherwin, Medical Negligence Department, Attwaters Jameson Hill

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