Get lung cancer aware during Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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Friday, November 20th, 2015
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers among both men and women in Northern Ireland, with around 900 new cases diagnosed each year, but it is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer, so during Lung Cancer Awareness Month the Public Health Agency (PHA) is calling on smokers to take the decision to give up their habit and start to enjoy the benefits of a smoke-free lifestyle. cigaretteGerry Bleakney, Strategic Lead for Tobacco Control with the PHA, said, “Smoking cigarettes is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer and is responsible for around 90 percent of all cases. “Using other types of tobacco products such as cigars, pipe tobacco and chewing tobacco can also increase your risk of developing cancer. “However, you can reduce your risk by quitting now, no matter how long you have been smoking. Every year that you do not smoke, your risk of getting serious illnesses such as lung cancer will decrease,” he continued. “Smokers should be aware of the symptoms of lung cancer and if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to see your GP urgently. Early diagnosis of lung cancer is important because early treatment can be more effective and survival can be improved.” Symptoms may include: • A persistent cough • A sudden change in a cough that you have had for a long time • Unexplained weight loss • Breathlessness • Chest pain – this is usually intermittent (stop-start) and is often made worse when breathing or coughing • Coughing up blood-stained phlegm. There are over 650 free PHA-funded stop smoking specialist services across Northern Ireland in pharmacies, GP surgeries, hospitals, communities and workplaces that can help with your quit attempt. For more information and useful tips to stop smoking, to order a quit kit or to find your local stop smoking service visit the PHA’s ‘Want 2 Stop’ website at or follow us on Facebook at alternatively you can use our SMS service by texting ‘Quit’ to 70004.
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