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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Lung cancer: mainly caused by smoking

EIGHT in every 10 cases of lung cancer are thought to be caused by smoking, say local health chiefs.

However, as one of the commonest cancers in the UK, non-smokers are also at risk.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Copeland residents are encouraged not to ignore symptoms, such as an ongoing cough, a hoarse voice, unexplained weight loss, difficulty swallowing and coughing up blood.

In Cumbria in 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, 321 people died from lung cancer.

Dr Rebecca Wagstaff, NHS Cumbria’s deputy director of public health, said: “Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers and one of the biggest killers.

“We need to get the message across that people need to watch out for symptoms and also know that if they smoke they are at greater risk of developing lung cancer and dying as a result.

“If someone does start to experience any of the common symptoms then they should go and see their GP. If you do have cancer and it’s caught early, then your chances of survival are greatly increased.

“Meanwhile, it’s never too late for a smoker to quit and, after 15 years of stopping, their chances of getting lung cancer are almost the same as that of a non-smoker.”

NHS Cumbria’s Stop Smoking Service offers free, confidential advice to anyone who needs help to kick the habit. Advisors are available across the county and can offer one-to-one support.

To arrange an appointment or to find out more call 01900 324222 or visit one of over 60 pharmacies across Cumbria who also offer stop smoking advice.

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