Lung cancer cases up, awareness down

At the launch of its Lung Cancer Awareness Month recently, the Irish Cancer Society announced that 27 per cent of Irish people were unable to name any symptoms of lung cancer.

This is a significant drop in awareness from 2013 when only nine per cent of Irish people surveyed were unable to name any symptoms of the disease.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in Ireland with over 2,500 cases diagnosed annually, including 57 cases in Westmeath in 2015, the most recent year statistics are available for.

Speaking at the launch of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager with the Irish Cancer Society said, “The significant drop in awareness of the symptoms of lung cancer is worrying, given that the numbers are only set to increase, particularly amongst women.”

Female lung cancer cases are projected to increase by at least 77 per cent between 2010 and 2040 and male cases by at least 52 per cent.

The signs and symptoms of lung cancer are:

A cough that does not go away or a change in a long-term cough.

Feeling short of breath or wheezing.

Repeated chest infections that will not go away, even after antibiotics.

Coughing up blood-stained phlegm.

Pain in your chest, especially when you cough or breathe in.

Feeling more tired than usual and/or unexplained weight loss.

Hoarse voice, problems swallowing or swelling in the face or neck.

The society encourages the public to access its simple online lung health checker, which allows them to answer questions about their lung health and bring a summary of their results to their doctor.

For further information on lung cancer and support available and to take the Online Lung Health Checker visit www.cancer.ie/lung

To speak to a cancer nurse on any aspect of lung cancer, contact the Cancer Nurseline on Freephone (1800 ) 200700 or email [email protected].

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