A Macmillan cancer nurse at the Royal United Hospital in Bath is urging people not to ignore the early signs and symptoms of lung cancer amid reports of a rise in emergency admissions.
Ros Goldsmith, who is a Macmillan Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist at the RUH, says fear of Covid-19 is still preventing some people from visiting their GP and hospital, resulting in a late diagnosis.
She added that the symptoms of Covid-19 are also creating confusion for people experiencing a persistent cough, which is also one of the possible signs of lung cancer.
As part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Ros is raising awareness of the early signs and symptoms of lung cancer and urging people to visit their GP if they have any concerns.
The symptoms of lung cancer may include:
- A cough or hoarse voice for 3 weeks or more
- A change in a cough you have had for a long time
- A chest infection that does not get better, or repeated chest infections
- Feeling breathless and wheezy for no reason
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain or shoulder pain that does not get better.
- Weight loss for no obvious reason
- Feeling extremely tired (fatigue)
Ros said: “While we are living with Covid-19 it’s even more important for people to be vigilant and proactive when it comes to their health.
“It is vital to visit your GP if you have a persistent cough which lasts three weeks or more.”
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, with around 48,500 people being diagnosed with it each year.
Ros continued: “We want to reassure everyone that COVID safe procedures are in place in hospitals and GP surgeries so please don’t ignore the earlier warning signs.
“Lung cancer can advance very quickly, so early diagnosis is key. If it is picked up in the early stages there is a much higher chance of treatment being successful.”
If you are concerned about lung cancer, contact your GP or call the Macmillan support line on 0808 808 00 00, open Monday – Sunday, 8am- 8pm.
You can also find out more information about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer at: www.macmillan.org.uk.