November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. People diagnosed with lung cancer in its earliest stages are nearly 20 times more likely to survive for five years than those whose cancer is caught late.
It is important to ensure people know what signs to look out for and to encourage anyone experiencing symptoms of lung cancer to contact their GP without delay.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the region. This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance have partnered up with Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, to raise awareness around lung cancer signs and the importance of lung health.
Signs and symptoms of lung cancer
It’s important to know what is normal for you, so you can spot any signs of lung cancer early. The main symptoms of lung cancer to look out for are:
- a cough that doesn’t go away after three weeks
- chest infections that keep coming back
- coughing up blood
- an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
- persistent breathlessness
- persistent tiredness or lack of energy
- loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
For more information on lung cancer signs and symptoms, go to nhs.uk.
If you have been experiencing symptoms of lung cancer, it is important to contact your GP without delay. It’s probably nothing serious, but finding cancer early makes it more treatable and your NHS wants to see you, so please contact your GP practice.
More than 90% of people in Humber and North Yorkshire who were referred for urgent tests for cancer in 2021/22 found out they did not have cancer. Until you find out, you can’t rule it out.
If you are interested in learning more about the signs and symptoms of cancer, you can sign up for free Cancer Champions training at www.hnycanceralliance.org.uk/cancerchampions.
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
This lung cancer awareness month, we are supporting Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation’s Be Unforgettable campaign, challenging the misconceptions of lung cancer and empowering those with symptoms to take action.
It is often difficult to identify symptoms of lung cancer. Respiratory-based symptoms like a persistent cough and chest infections are easily attributed to common winter bugs, whilst less common symptoms like shoulder pain or finger clubbing aren’t commonly recognised as potential warning signs. As part of the Be Unforgettable campaign, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation are demystifying symptoms and empowering people to act.
Find out more: roycastle.org/be-unforgettable
Let’s Talk Cancer Roadshow
Throughout November, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation will be taking their 12ft Mega Lungs around the country to raise awareness of lung cancer and lung health, and they will be on hand to answer questions that members of the public have.
The lungs can be seen all across the country, as they start their journey in Hull and travel all the way over to Bournemouth.
The roadshow comes after a recent survey of over 2,000 adults in England found that just two in five respondents (41%) would visit their GP if they had a cough for three weeks or more, which could be a sign of lung cancer.
See some of the great photos that were taken when the lungs were in St Stephen’s shopping Centre, Hull on the 1st of the month.
Let’s talk about lung cancer
Throughout November, Humber and North Yorkshire Cancer Alliance will be visiting community locations across our area to help improve local understanding and awareness of lung cancer and NHS Targeted Lung Health Checks. If you are near one of the following places this month, come and talk to our friendly team.
- Wednesday 1st November 2023, St Stephen’s shopping centre in Hull, 10am – 4pm
- Thursday 9th November 2023, Withernsea Leisure Centre, 9am – 3pm
- Friday, 17th November 2023, Tesco Superstore on Market Street in Grimsby, 9am – 2pm
- Wednesday, 22nd November 2023, Withernsea Leisure Centre, 10am – 3pm
- Thursday, 23rd November 2023, The Shores Community Centre, 9am – 3pm
- Tuesday, 28th November 2023, Matalan in Grimsby, 10am – 2pm
NHS Targeted Lung Health Check Programme
NHS Lung Health Checks, which help to diagnose lung cancer and other respiratory diseases early, are currently being offered to people aged from 55 to 74, who smoke or have ever smoked, and live in one of the following areas:
- North East Lincolnshire
- East Riding of Yorkshire
Eligible participants are invited in phases meaning some people will receive an invite before others, depending on where they live and which GP practice they are registered with. A full list of GP practices and areas currently inviting people for a lung health check can be found at www.lunghealthcheck.org.uk.
The NHS Targeted Lung Health Check programme is being rolled out across Humber and North Yorkshire in stages. It is expected that the service will be available in all parts of Humber and North Yorkshire by 2028/29.
The lung health check takes place in two stages. The first is an initial phone assessment with a specially trained respiratory nurse. If the assessment finds the person to be at high risk, they will be offered a low dose CT scan of the lungs for further investigation onboard a mobile unit which is located in a community setting, such as a supermarket or leisure centre car park.
If you are invited for a lung health check, book your appointment without delay – it could help to save your life or provide reassurance that your lungs are working well.