Lung cancer symptoms can be subtle. So subtle, in fact, that it can be easy to dismiss them. But a cough that just won’t go away? That should NEVER be ignored.
Shan Evans, of Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire’s Calder Valley, knows exactly how important it is to get a persistent cough checked out.
She said, “I was diagnosed with lung cancer after I’d been to see my GP about a cough I had had for four weeks. Luckily, I was diagnosed at an early stage which made it much more treatable, I am now cancer-free and feel fitter than ever! If you have had a cough for three weeks or more then get it checked out. I have seen first-hand how much of a difference an early diagnosis can make.”
In fact, early diagnosis can increase the treatment options available and significantly improves the chances of being cured.
Shan required a surgical procedure called a lobectomy, in which part of her right lung and associated lymph nodes were removed at St James’ Infirmary in Leeds.
Staff there were very supportive, and Shan was soon on the road to recovery – quite literally. She took up running, and she is extremely grateful for all the support she has received during the course of her treatment and recovery.
She added, “I am fitter now after my surgery than ever before. I've never done a 5k run before!
“I was shocked to see in the paper the other day how low the 10-year survival rates for lung cancer are, and how little they've improved over the last decade. I'm glad I didn't see them before my operation - but I realise that the survival rates for people with cancers found early, like mine, are incomparably better”.
Shan advises anyone with any of the key symptoms to go to their doctor and get themselves checked out. She sometimes engages with other people affected by lung cancer on the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation online forum on the Health Unlocked platform. You can visit that at https://healthunlocked.com/lungcancer