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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

Symptoms of lung cancer

If you have any symptom that's been bothering you, it's best to visit your GP as early as possible to get it checked out.

The symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  • a continuing cough, or change in a long-standing cough

  • becoming breathless and wheezy

  • coughing up bloodstained phlegm (sputum)

  • chest or shoulder pain

  • weight loss

  • a chest infection that doesn’t get better

  • a hoarse voice

  • a dull ache or sharp pain when you cough or take a deep breath

  • difficulty swallowing

  • feeling extremely tired (fatigue) and lethargic

  • the ends of fingers becoming larger or looking more rounded (clubbing)

  • swelling of lymph nodes (glands) in the neck area.

If you have any of the above symptoms for more than three weeks, it‘s important to have them checked by your GP. All of these symptoms can be caused by illnesses other than cancer.

Lung cancer is sometimes diagnosed in people who don’t have any symptoms, but who are having a chest x-ray or scan for another problem.


IF you smoke, the best way to prevent lung cancer and other serious conditions is to stop smoking as soon as possible.

However long you have been smoking, it's always worth quitting. Every year you don't smoke decreases your risk of getting serious illnesses, such as lung cancer. After 10 years of not smoking, your chances of developing lung cancer falls to half that of someone who smokes.

NHS Smokefree can offer advice and encouragement to help you quit smoking. You can call them on 0300 123 1044, or visit their website.

Your GP or pharmacist can also give you help and advice about giving up smoking.


Research suggests that eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including at least five portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of whole grains, can reduce your risk of lung cancer, as well as other types of cancer and heart disease.


There's strong evidence to suggest that regular exercise can lower the risk of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer.

Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.

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