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Spot lung cancer early

Watch our video to find out more about the signs and symptoms of lung cancer, and why spotting lung cancer early is important. 

At the bottom of the page, you can see the full-length video.

View a transcript of the full Spot lung cancer early video.

There are many signs of lung cancer, but they usually include:

  • a cough that persists for two or three weeks, or a worsening or changing of a long standing cough
  • repeated chest infections
  • coughing up blood
  • unexplained persistent breathlessness, tiredness or lack of energy,
  • or weight loss
  • persistent chest or shoulder pain.

If you have any of these symptoms, see your GP immediately. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got lung cancer, but it’s best to get it checked out.The earlier the condition is diagnosed, the better the chance of treatment being successful.

For help registering with a GP, visit or call 0845 46 47.

Smoking and lung cancer

By far the most common cause of lung cancer is smoking. More than four in five cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking.

But nearly two in 10 cases are in people who have never smoked. Anyone can develop lung cancer, so it is very important that if you have any signs and symptoms associated with your chest, that you get them checked out.


"People don’t always recognise the signs and symptoms of lung cancer. They think if they’ve never smoked it can’t happen to them".

Alison Bennett, lung cancer nurse specialist

It is always worth giving up smoking, no matter how long you have smoked. You will reduce your risk of developing lung cancer and other serious diseases, or increase your chance of responding to treatment for lung cancer.

If you need help to give up smoking, you can always speak to your GP, the nurse in the surgery, or your pharmacist. You can also call the free NHS helpline on 0800 022 4 332.


"If you’ve got any signs at all, whether you smoke or not, if you’re coughing a lot or getting out of breath, getting tired or not being able to do the things that you used to do, then go and see your doctor. If you go early enough, you’ve a good chance of surviving".

Mike Edwards, lung cancer survivor


"I’m sure I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t gone to my doctor. Being diagnosed with lung cancer is certainly not a death sentence. There’s so much that can be done, and there is life after cancer".

Ann Long, lung cancer survivor

View a transcript of the full  Spot lung cancer early video.

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Updated: 3 November 2009