Irish Cancer Society launch Lung Awareness Month

THE Irish Cancer Society has launched Lung Cancer Awareness Month and is encouraging people to consult its easy-to-use online lung health checker. 

At the launch this week, ICS announced that 27 per cent of Irish people were unable to name any symptoms of lung cancer, according to new research from the Global Lung Cancer Coalition.

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This is a significant drop in awareness from 2013 when only 9 per cent of Irish people were unable to name any symptoms of the disease.

ICS say this lack of awareness is seriously concerning. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in Ireland with over 2,500 cases diagnosed annually.

Lung cancer is also the leading cause of cancer deaths with, on average, 1,855 people in Ireland dying from lung cancer each year during 2012-2014.

The majority of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage which is why awareness of the symptoms and early detection is vital.

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer are: a cough that doesn’t go away, feeling short of breath or wheezing, repeated chest infections that won’t go away even after antibiotics, coughing up blood-stained phlegm, pain in your chest especially when you cough or breathe in, feeling more tired than usual and/or unexplained weight loss, hoarse voice, problems swallowing or swelling in the face or neck.

The online lung health checker allows people to answer questions about their lung health and bring a summary of their results to their doctor - a simple but effective way of taking lung health seriously.

Kevin O’Hagan, Cancer Prevention Manager with the ICS said the drop in awareness of the symptoms is “worrying” given that numbers are “only set to increase.”

“Particularly amongst women,” he said.

“Alarmingly, female lung cancer cases are projected to increase by at least 77 per cent between 2010 and 2040 and male cases by at least 52 per cent.

“One in four lung cancer cases are being diagnosed in emergency departments and many of these are at an advanced stage. Irish people need to get checked if they experience any symptoms and not wait to present as an emergency. Late diagnosis limits treatment options and reduces your chances of survival.”

To speak to a cancer nurse contact the ICS Cancer Nurseline on Freephone 1800 200 700, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop into one of their 13 Daffodil centres nationwide.

For information on Daffodil centre locations and opening times email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Irish Cancer Society's online lung health checker is available at www.cancer.ie/lung/checker.

For further information visit www.cancer.ie/lung.

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