‘Join the fight to beat lung cancer’ say Macmillan nurses at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital

Macmillan lung cancer clinical nurse specialists Elaine Dockree and Patricia Swann

Macmillan lung cancer clinical nurse specialists Elaine Dockree and Patricia Swann - Credit: Archant

A nurse at Lister Hospital in Stevenage is urging the public to check for signs and symptoms as part of Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

More than 35,000 people in the UK die from lung cancer each year – the disease’s biggest killer.

Patricia Swann, who is a Macmillan lung cancer clinical nurse specialist at the hospital in Coreys Mill Lane, is calling on the public to play their part in fighting the disease.

Patricia, who works alongside fellow specialist nurse Elaine Dockree, said: “There are 119 people who receive a diagnosis of lung cancer every day in the UK and, while the survival rates are poor, the important thing to remember is that if caught early enough it is treatable.”

“A survey has revealed that 77% of lung cancer patients have said they are unaware of the signs and symptoms, and that means many are being diagnosed too late for curative treatment. It’s really vital that more people are educated – getting people to their GPs when symptoms occur could mean earlier diagnosis and a better prognosis.

“There is also a misconception that lung cancer only affects smokers but this isn’t the case – in fact more than one in 10 cases are not linked to smoking at all. It’s important for everyone to know the facts.”

Common symptoms include a continuing cough or change in a long-standing cough, becoming breathless and wheezy, coughing up bloodstained phlegm, chest or shoulder pain, or a dull ache or sharp pain when you cough or take a deep breath.

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Other potential symptoms include weight loss, feeling extremely tired and lethargic, swelling glands in the neck area and the ends of fingers becoming larger or looking more rounded.