Be aware of lung cancer symptoms

Be aware of lung cancer symptoms

Many people don’t realise a cough, which lasts for three weeks or more, needs to be investigated.

This article was written by Kellie Balaam and was published in the Narrogin Observer on 28 November 2019.

Cancer Council WA is urging Wheatbelt residents to be aware of the symptoms and dangers of lung cancer.

November is lung cancer awareness month and Cancer Council WA’s Wheatbelt regional education officer Melissa Pickering advised locals to visit their doctor if something was not right.

“Many people don’t realise a cough, which lasts for three weeks or more, needs to be investigated,”she said.

Cancer Council WA also recommended people see a doctor if they have repeated chest infections, unexplained weight loss, persistent abdominal or chest pain or difficulty swallowing. Ms Pickering said these problems did not mean a person had cancer, but it was critical to investigate symptoms in early stages.

“The chances of successful treatment are much higher when cancer is found early,” she said. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, lung cancer is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia and the most common cause of cancer death.

In 2017, 637 men and 472 women were diagnosed with lung cancer in WA. Ms Pickering said although most lung cancer cases were caused by smoking tobacco, 10 per cent of cases in Australian men and 35 percent of cases in women were not caused by smoking.

Other causes include diesel engine exhaust, silica dust and welding fume. Silica dust is found in stone, rock, sand, gravel and clay and in products such as bricks, tiles and stone bench tops. For cancer information and support, call 13 11 20.