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November is lung cancer awareness month

Almost 100 people a month are being diagnosed with lung cancer is WA

Cancer Council WA is using November’s Lung Cancer Awareness month to remind residents of the symptoms of lung cancer and what to do if they notice any unusual changes to their body.

Cancer Council WA’s Pilbara regional education officer Anne Johnston said it’s important to visit your doctor, clinic nurse, or Aboriginal health worker right away if you experience any symptoms.

“If you’ve coughed up blood or had a long-standing cough that worsened or changes, repeated checks infections, shortness of breath, unexplained with loss, difficulty swallowing, loss of appetite, or persistent chest or shoulder pain, then it’s important to get it investigated,” Mrs. Johnston said.

“It doesn’t mean you’ve got cancer, often it turns out to be something less serious, though it’s critical to have the symptoms investigated early to be sure.

“Remember, the chances of successful treatment are much higher when cancer is found early.”

Lung cancer was the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2017 and the most common cause of cancer death in 2019 according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data.

In the Pilbara region in 2018, eight people were diagnosed with lung cancer, and unfortunately, one person dies from it.

Eighty percent of lung cancers in Australia are caused by smoking. Other known causes of lung cancer include occup[dation carcinogens such as silica dust and diesel engine exhaust, and if a person has a family history of lung cancer or previous lung disease their risk of lung cancer is also increased.

Alisha Small

Author Alisha Small

My name is Alisha and I am the Program Coordinator for the PHPN. I am based in Karratha at the RCS and WACRH offices however, I travel regularly throughout the Pilbara.

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