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Worried about your chest? Here’s some quick advice about checking your health

As the weather gets colder more people notice chest problems. However too many people ignore signs which could be the start of serious disease or cancer.

Corries are specialist asbestos claim solicitors. We work for victims of asbestos disease and cancers. Call us FREE on 0800 083 7839. Read here about some practical and sensible steps you can take to find out if you have a problem.

Are you worrying about nothing?

When we talk to asbestos or silicosis victims we are often told that they did not like to bother the doctors with minor problems or a bit of breathing trouble. There is often a worry that they will be wasting the doctors time.

Sadly numbers of asbestos disease are not going down and over 2600 die each year from the asbestos cancer mesothelioma. Add to this asbestosis, lung cancer and pleural thickening and many thousands each year are diagnosed or die with asbestos disease.

However many do not get a diagnosis or they get the diagnosis too late.

The largest killer of people in respiratory disease is lung cancer. About 1 in 10 people with lung cancer have this condition due to asbestos exposure. Lung cancer is still affecting and killing thousands in the UK every year. Many diagnosis and deaths are found too late to do anything about it.

Lung cancer – the statistics

There are about 47,000 new lung cancer cases in the UK every year. That figure is only slowly decreasing particularly as smoking levels have decreased.

Lung cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the UK and for UK males and females is the second most common cancer. Some 25,000 and 22,000 new cases are diagnosed each for each gender per year.

Lung cancer in England is more common in people living in the most deprived areas. It is more common in White people than in Black or Asian people.

About 36,000 people die in the UK each year with lung cancer. About 55% were male. That means almost 100 each day or one every 14 minutes.

Lung Cancer – timing of Diagnosis

Around three-quarters of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage in England, Scotland Northern Ireland.
About 57,200 people who had previously been diagnosed with lung cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2010. That figure is improving but is still at a low level compared to the number of people actually diangnosed.

Lung Cancer – Survival Times

Only 5% of people diagnosed with lung cancer in England and Wales survive that disease for ten years or more. One in ten people (10%) diagnosed with lung cancer live for five years or more.

Around a third (32%) of people diagnosed with lung cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more.

Lung cancer survival is higher in women than men at one- and five-years but similar at ten-years. Victims who are under 40 is the highest survive the longest. Sadly survival from this cancer has not shown much improvement in the last 40 years in the UK.

When diagnosed at an early stage, more than a third of people with lung cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 5 in 100 of people when diagnosed at a later stage.

Practical Things you can do

As the weather gets colder and wetter the amount of infections and chest problems invariably increase. However for the vast majority of us a simple infection will go away of its own accord or with anti biotics or other treatment.

We would never intend to bog down the NHS with thousands of worried but well people bothering the NHS system. However the Roy Castle Lung cancer Foundation provide some useful guidance to help you decide if you need to see advice.

Here is a link to their very useful symptom tracker which you can read on line.

https://www.roycastle.org/campaign/face-your-fear/lung-cancer-symptoms-tracker

If you are worried for a family member or they do not have access to a computer you can print off the symptom tracker here.

Summary

If you are worried about your chest health keep an eye out for these problems:

  1. A cough that will not go away
  2. Breathlessness that is not explained by an other cause
  3. Coughing up spit with blood
  4. Chest pain and
  5. Weight loss if not on a diet

At Corries we take calls every day from people affected with asbestos disease. If you have been diagnosed with asbestos disease and need advice then give us a no obligation call FREE on 0800 083 7839.