LATEST figures for St Helens and Knowsley show that 248 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in one year.

Many cases are still caused by smoking. During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Macmillan Cancer Support is encouraging people to be aware of lung cancer and to stop smoking for good.

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK with over 38,000 people in the UK being diagnosed with it each year and smoking remains the single most preventable cause of the disease.

Macmillan Lung Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Carol Dawson, based at Whiston Hospital, said: “If you have any symptoms at all it is important to have them checked by your doctor, but remember they can be caused by other conditions.”

She added: “The most effective preventative measure against developing lung cancer is to stop smoking.”

Symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • A continuing cough
  • A chest infection that does not get better
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Breathlessness or a hoarse voice
  • Loss of appetite and weight
  • Coughing up blood–stained phlegm
  • Excessive tiredness/lethargy Macmillan regional director.

    Maureen Rutter added: “Macmillan knows most people feel overwhelmed when they are told that they have cancer.

    One of the most common feelings people have is loneliness and a sense of being on their own, they find it hard to talk about their condition with people.

    During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Macmillan is encouraging people affected by cancer to contact us if they need support and advice.”

There are two main types of primary lung cancer, small cell lung cancer and non small cell lung cancer. They respond to treatments quite differently. One in five lung cancers are small cell, the rest are non-small cell.

If the tumour is on the outside of the lung away from the centre it may be removed with surgery. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are also methods of treatment.

For confidential advice visit the brand new Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at St Helens Hospital.

Or for more advice and to find out where your local support group is, call Macmillan on 0808 808 0000 or visit