Lung cancer causes and symptoms

16 January 2017

“Approximately 41,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year in the UK, and while it’s typically linked to smoking cigarettes (about 90% of all cases), people who have never even smoked can still be diagnosed with the condition”, explains Gary Bolger, Chief Medical Officer at AXA PPP Healthcare.

"Lung cancer signs and symptoms usually develop as the condition progresses, so it’s really important to be aware of the most common ones and see your GP immediately with any concerns.

“News that you have a lung cancer diagnosis will come as a shock to someone who may not fit the typical profile of a person who would normally be diagnosed.

“If you are a smoker, quitting as soon as possible is the best way to prevent lung cancer. Smokers are 20 times more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker and the more you smoke, and the longer you have smoked for, the greater the risk.

“Other rarer causes of lung cancer include passive smoking; if you’re frequently exposed to other people’s tobacco smoke it can increase your chances of developing lung cancer.

“Although there will be people who have lived a healthy, wholesome life who then go on to develop lung cancer, there is much to be said about making a few simple lifestyle changes. Eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including at least five portions of fruit and veg and plenty of whole grains may help reduce your risk of lung cancer and other types of cancer. And doing 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity can also help lower the risk.”

We’ve produced a handy go-to guide to help you understand some of the more common symptoms of lung cancer. If you’re in any doubt, visit your GP immediately.

lung cancer infographic

Reference: Lung Cancer NHS Factsheet