01 November 2019
When does a winter cough become a cancer warning?
When it lasts for more than three weeks, according to Consultant Respiratory Physician Dr Muthu Thirumaran.
Now, as part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Dr Thirumaran is calling on people with’ long-term’ coughs or chest infections to visit their GP to ensure they aren’t suffering from something much more serious.
“I realise that there will be lots of coughs, colds and chest problems doing the rounds this winter but anything that is still hanging around after three weeks needs checking by a doctor,” he said.
Dr Thirumaran, who has a practice at Spire Methley Park Hospital in Leeds, explained: “One of the main problems with diagnosing lung cancer is that there are very few signs or symptoms at the very early stage. That is why acting upon lingering coughs or chest problems can be so important.”
While smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, around 1 in 8 people with lung cancer have never smoked so it is important to look out for other tell-tale signs which include:
- Repeated chest infections
- Hoarse voice
- A long-term cough
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling more tired than usual
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- A persistent ache or pain in your chest
“Our best weapon in the fight against lung cancer is early detection so it is important that people know the signals to look out for and how to react if they spot any of them. A GP will be able to give you an expert opinion and, if they think it needs further investigation, will put you on the right healthcare pathway,” said Dr Thirumaran.
If you are worried about any of the symptoms listed above, find your nearest Spire hospital and book a consultation online.