1 November 2011
A new poll by Macmillan Cancer Support asked women, out of the three most commonly diagnosed cancers, which were they more confident of knowing the signs and symptoms for – only 6% said lung – the UK’s biggest cancer killer - whereas 80% said breast and 11% said bowel .
Despite lung cancer having the highest mortality rate of all cancers, the poll of 1,000 women revealed that half (53%) feared getting breast cancer more than lung (23%) and bowel (21%) .
The symptoms of lung cancer include:
a continuing cough or a change in a long-standing cough pattern
coughing up blood stained phlegm
a dull ache, or a sharp pain, when you cough or take a deep breath
increasing breathlessness or wheezing, and
a hoarse voice.
These symptoms may be caused by other illnesses or infections as well. But please see your GP to be sure – because if cancers are found at an early stage there is a much better chance of survival.
Kim Hardwick, Senior Cancer Information Nurse at Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
'This is worrying especially as the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer is increasing every year whereas for men the numbers are in decline. Lung cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage when curative treatment is no longer possible. It’s so important that women – particularly those that smoke - are aware of the symptoms of lung cancer and see their doctor promptly. Diagnosis at an earlier stage could save your life.'
Mum of two daughters Yvonne, from London, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2006 and 2008 and had one lung removed, says:
'I feared other cancers like breast and checked my breasts regularly but never thought I would get lung cancer. After all, I didn’t smoke and led a healthy lifestyle. I wished I had been more aware of the early symptoms of lung cancer as if caught early enough there is a better chance of recovering from it.'
'Being told that I might have less than five years to live turned my world upside down. I’m still undergoing treatment but having lung cancer has put my life into perspective and I make the most of every precious moment with my family.'
Every day more people face the toughest fight of their lives. For cancer support every step of the way, or to find out how you can support their work, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk
For further information, please contact:
Julie Wills, Assistant Media & PR Officer of Macmillan Cancer Support
020 7840 4933
Notes to Editors:
Sources:  &  Macmillan Cancer Support (September 2011). Macmillan conducted an online survey of 1,000 women across the UK. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21 September and 22 September 2011. The figures have not been weighted.
About Macmillan Cancer Support:
Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical, emotional and financial support. Working alongside people affected by cancer, Macmillan works to improve cancer care. More than one in three of us get cancer. Two million of us are living with it. If you are affected by cancer Macmillan can help