BREATHE A LIT­TLE BET­TER

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

NOVEM­BER is Lung Can­cer Aware­ness Month and we’re urg­ing all Far North Queens­land lo­cals to help raise aware­ness of the dis­ease, re­duce their risk and sup­port those af­fected.

Lung can­cer is the fourth most com­monly di­ag­nosed can­cer in both men and women and is the lead­ing can­cer­re­lated cause of death in Queens­land.

In Far North Queens­land alone, around 140 peo­ple are di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer each year.

The main symp­toms of lung can­cer are a new dry cough or change in a chronic cough, chest pain or breath­less­ness, re­peated bouts of pneu­mo­nia or bron­chi­tis, or cough­ing or spit­ting up blood.

These symp­toms do not nec­es­sar­ily mean you have can­cer, but it’s im­por­tant to talk to your gen­eral prac­ti­tioner if you ex­pe­ri­ence them, so they can be checked.

While there are many fac­tors that can con­trib­ute to lung can­cer, we do know that smok­ing is the lead­ing cause — and be­cause of this many pa­tients, par­tic­u­larly non­smok­ers, can feel stig­ma­tised by their ill­ness.

A can­cer di­ag­no­sis is iso­lat­ing – but it can be es­pe­cially tough if there is stigma in­volved. Stigma con­trib­utes to psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­tress, neg­a­tively im­pact­ing on the patient’s qual­ity of life and some­times, trag­i­cally, in­flu­enc­ing treat­ment de­ci­sions.

More ed­u­ca­tion and aware­ness is needed to di­min­ish lung can­cer stigma, and with your help, we can en­sure that no one goes through lung can­cer alone.

If you or some­one you know is af­fected by lung can­cer, please call Can­cer Coun­cil’s 13 11 20 for ac­cess to a com­pre­hen­sive range of can­cer publi­ca­tions, con­fi­den­tial sup­port and re­fer­rals, or visit our web­site, can­cerqld.org.au.

CHRIS MCMIL­LAN , Can­cer Coun­cil Queens­land chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer

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