Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way to form a tumour in the lung.
Lung cancer does not usually cause noticeable symptoms until it’s spread through the lungs or into other parts of the body so unfortunately the outlook for the condition is not as good as many other types of cancer.
However, survival rates depend greatly on how far the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis so early diagnosis can make a big difference.
Planning ahead can also help you to adapt your lifestyle to living with breathlessness.
Cancer Research UK recommends trying the following:
- Move everything you need downstairs to avoid unnecessary trips up and down.
- Use a cordless phone or a mobile phone.
- Try using a trolley or bag on wheels to carry shopping or washing around.
- For household tasks, plan ahead and get everything you need together before you start.
- Pace yourself and allow rest times – you will get more done if you don’t take on too much at once.
Other lung cancer symptoms include:
- A persistent cough
- Coughing up blood
- Unexplained tiredness and weight loss
- An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
If you have symptoms associated with lung cancer, such as breathlessness or a persistent cough, you should contact your GP, advises the NHS.
As the NHS explains, every year you do not smoke decreases your risk of getting serious illnesses, such as lung cancer.
After 10 years of not smoking, your chances of developing lung cancer falls to half that of someone who smokes.
Research also suggests that eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including at least five portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of wholegrains, can reduce your risk of lung cancer, as well as other types of cancer and heart disease, says the health body.
Evidence also suggests that regular exercise can lower the risk of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer.
According to the NHS, most adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes (two hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, plus strength-training exercises on at least two days each week.