November is lung cancer awareness month here in the UK, and, what with everything going on at the moment with COVID, it is more important than ever this year to raise awareness of this disease. The awareness month is a nationwide event to encourage people to go and visit their GP if they have the symptoms of lung cancer.
This year it is more important than ever to visit a GP if you have symptoms, as one of the main symptoms of lung cancer is a persistent cough. This can lead many people to automatically assume they have COVID-19 rather than lung cancer.
Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer in the UK. There are around 47,000 diagnoses of the condition per year. Detecting and treating the cancer early enough can greatly impact the chance of survival.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
There can be no symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer. Symptoms tend to develop as the condition progresses and spreads. People with the condition may, however, develop the following symptoms:
- Persistent cough
- Coughing up blood
- Chest infections that keep coming back
- Persistent shortage of breath
- Unexplained weight loss and tiredness
- Pain when breathing or coughing
There can be more symptoms if the cancer has spread. These symptoms can vary depending on where it has spread to. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor straight away. Lung cancer is far easier to treat the earlier it is picked up. If the cancer is diagnosed early enough, then around 1 in 3 people live for at least a year after they are diagnosed, and 1 in 20 live for at least 20 years after diagnosis.
Lung Cancer Treatment
As with many cancers, there are three main types of treatment for lung cancer. These vary depending on your overall health, the type of cancer, the position of the cancer, and the stage. The three main types of treatment are: radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery.
Other forms of treatment include immunotherapy, which can be used on its own or combined with chemotherapy, targeted therapies, which are medicines designed to slow the spread of the cancer, radiofrequency ablation, which can be used at the early stages of cancer, cryotherapy if the cancer is blocking your airways, and photodynamic therapy if a person is unable or unwilling to have surgery.
Lung Cancer Negligence
Unfortunately, as lung cancer does not usually show symptoms until it has spread through the lungs or to other parts of the body, the diagnosis of the condition can be delayed anyway. But if there is a longer delay in this diagnosis because of a healthcare professional missing the symptoms, then the consequences can be devastating.
If you have had a diagnosis of lung cancer, in which the diagnosis was either delayed or misdiagnosed, then you may be able to make a claim for medical negligence. This is especially true if it has affected either your treatment or prognosis.
How we can help
Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience dealing with medical negligence claims. This includes claims for lung cancer related negligence. Contact us today by filling in our contact form, or by calling us on 01614138761 to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable advisors.