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Swim the distance for lung cancer this November

This month is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Here at World First we fully support it. We offer lung cancer travel insurance to our customers. However, because it is so preventable and is such a difficult disease to treat, we’d rather not have to. And the more people know about the dangers and the symptoms, the fewer people we’ll need to cover.

The purpose of lung cancer awareness month, which is in its eighth year now, is to help raise awareness of the dangers of the disease, promote healthier lifestyles to help prevent the disease in the first place and to enable more people to be diagnosed earlier.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world and the second most common cancer in the UK. It is also the UK’s biggest cancer killer, with over 35,000 deaths every year attributed to the disease, which is more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, stomach cancer and leukaemia combined. That is really shocking.

Sadly only about 5% of those who are diagnosed with lung cancer will survive more than 10 years after diagnosis, even though around 89% of cases in the UK are preventable.

That means that almost 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer could have been prevented, mostly through lifestyle choices, which of course, include smoking. Other factors include air pollution, diesel exhaust fumes and ionising radiation. Some occupational exposures also cause the disease.

How raising awareness can make a real difference

Since so few people survive long after diagnosis, the point of raising awareness is to arm people with the knowledge they need to change their lifestyles or seek medical attention sooner. Macmillan advises everybody to consult their doctor if they experience the following symptoms:

  • A cough that lasts for three weeks or more.
  • A change in a cough you have had for a long time.
  • A chest infection that doesn’t get better, or repeated chest infections.
  • Feeling breathless for no reason.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • A hoarse voice that lasts for three weeks or more.
  • Pain in your chest or shoulder that doesn’t get better.
  • Feeling more tired than usual for some time.

What you can do to help

The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, a charity set up in the name of the late performer Roy Castle following his battle with the disease that he attributed to passive smoking, are giving out packs of banners bags and various bits and pieces to those who wanted to set up a stand or stall to raise awareness and funds.

Take part in an event

The Roy Castle Foundation host events all around the country to raise funds for lung cancer research. So if you fancy skydiving, swimming or even ballroom dancing, FIND OUT MORE HERE.

The foundation are also inviting people to take part in a 'Swim the Distance' fundraising event for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, in which they can log their swimming miles on their website and raise money through sponsorship. READ MORE HERE.

New drug now available on the NHS

A new drug, that has been hailed as ‘breakthrough’ by its manufacturers, is now available on the NHS. It treats a certain type of lung cancer and could mean that about 300 people each year will be eligible for it. So while it is fantastic that the drug is now available, it’s a small number of people who may benefit. And that means raising more awareness, raising money for cancer research and making sure more people are prevented from getting it.

See more about lung cancer HERE.

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