November is Lung cancer awareness month and NHS Highland is taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Scotland with around 5,000 new cases diagnosed every year. But there is good news – more people than ever in Scotland are surviving the disease. This is down to improved treatments and more people getting checked earlier. Finding it early makes it easier to treat and improves your chance of survival. 

Signs and symptoms

If you've had a cough for three weeks, it's worth getting it checked out with your GP. Chances are it's nothing to worry about but it could be a sign of lung cancer.

Below is a list of other symptoms that if you have, you should see your GP about. Having one or more of these doesn’t mean you have lung cancer. However, if you’ve had them for more than three weeks you shouldn’t ignore them – just visit your GP to be on the safe side.

  • A cough you've had for 3 weeks or more.
  • A cough you've had for a long time that's got worse or changes.
  • Feeling breathless for no reason.
  • A chest infection that doesn't clear up.
  • Coughing blood.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Chest or shoulder pains.
  • Unexplained tiredness or lack of energy.
  • A hoarse voice.

If you know anyone with any of these symptoms, encourage them to visit their doctor. It’s probably nothing serious but it could be a sign of something that needs treatment. 

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