Seek advice if cough lasts for three weeks, say doctors

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Doctors are using Lung Cancer Awareness Month to remind people to seek advice if they have had a cough for three weeks or more.

Whilst coughs are common this time of year, a persistent one that lasts longer than three weeks could be a sign of something more serious.

In the vast majority of cases the underlying condition will not be serious – but in some cases it could be a sign of lung cancer.

Nationally around three quarters of those diagnosed are found to have the condition when it is already in the advanced stages and much harder to treat. Many don’t live for more than a year.

Evidence shows that people who are diagnosed with lung cancer in its early stages are more likely to respond well to treatment and live longer.

Dr Vindi Bhandal, GP and chair of NHS South West Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We encourage anyone who is worried about any of the symptoms of lung cancer to visit their GP straight away. This is especially important if you smoke as 8 out of 10 cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking.”