Be aware of lung cancer symptoms, urge experts

Elise Van AkenMidwest Times
Kalbarri man Kevin Cronin is a lung cancer survivor.
Camera IconKalbarri man Kevin Cronin is a lung cancer survivor. Credit: Supplied

Mid West residents are this month being urged to learn the symptoms of lung cancer and what to do if they notice any unusual changes to their body.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month, which has remained the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia and the most common cause of cancer death, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data.

In the Mid West, 45 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017 and 25 died of the illness.

Cancer Council WA Mid West regional education officer Aiden McDowell said many people did not realise a cough, which lasted for three weeks or more, needed to be investigated.

“If you have a long-standing cough that worsens or changes for three weeks or more, it needs to be investigated,” he said.

“If you have repeated chest infections, you notice you are becoming more short of breath or lacking energy, and have had any of these symptoms for more than four weeks, they should be investigated, too.

“If you cough up blood, even once, it’s really important to visit your doctor, clinic nurse or Aboriginal health worker right away to find out the cause. It doesn’t mean you’ve got cancer, often it turns out to be something less serious, though it’s critical to have the symptoms investigated early to be sure.”

Kalbarri man and Find Cancer Early champion Kevin Cronin, a lung cancer survivor, said it was important not to ignore symptoms.

“Take your symptoms seriously and don’t wait until something else happens. Get it checked,” he said.

“Remember, The chances of successful treatment are much higher when cancer is found early.”

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