Despite lung cancer being the UK’s biggest cancer killer, only 6 per cent of women would be confident knowing the signs and symptoms of it.
Despite lung cancer having the highest mortality rate of all cancer, the poll of 1,000 women revealed that half feared getting breast cancer more than lung and bowel.
The pollm conducted by Macmillan Cancer Support, found that they were more confident diagnosing the symptoms of breast and bowel cancer.
The symptoms of lung cancer include:
• a continuing cough or a change in a long-standing cough pattern;
• coughing up blood stained phlegm;
• a dull ache, or a sharp pain, when you cough or take a deep breath;
• increasing breathlessness or wheezing, and
• a hoarse voice.
These symptoms may be caused by other illnesses or infections as well. But please see your GP to be sure – because if cancers are found at an early stage there is a much better chance of survival.
Kim Hardwick, Senior Cancer Information Nurse at Macmillan Cancer Support, says: “This is worrying especially as the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer is increasing every year whereas for men the numbers are in decline. Lung cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when curative treatment is no longer possible. It’s so important that women – particularly those that smoke – are aware of the symptoms of lung cancer and see their doctor promptly. Diagnosis at an earlier stage could save your life.”
Mum of two daughters Yvonne, from London, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006 and 2008 and had one lung removed, says:
“I feared other cancers like breast and checked my breasts regularly but never thought I would get lung cancer. After all, I didn’t smoke and led a healthy lifestyle. I wished I had been more aware of the early symptoms of lung cancer as if caught early enough there is a better chance of recovering from it.
She adds: “Being told that I might have less than five years to live turned my world upside down. I’m still undergoing treatment but having lung cancer has put my life into perspective and I make the most of every precious moment with my family.”