Reducing Your Risk

You can reduce your risk of cancer with lifestyle changes, including:

Stop Smoking

Smoking increases the risk of many cancers. If you smoke the best thing you can do for your health is to quit. There's plenty of support and help from the NHS. Visit or call freephone 0800 085 2219.

Look after yourself

Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of some cancers. Try to maintain a healthy weight and keep active. Swimming, cycling, dancing, walking - the more you do, the better. Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet too, with plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Cut down on alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a number of health problems and is linked with some cancers. By drinking less, you''ll reduce your health risks.

How to spot it

You need to tell a doctor straight away if you have been coughing for the past three weeks or more. Some of the other symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • A cough that has got worse or changes
  • Repeated chest infections
  • Coughing up blood
  • Breathlessness
  • Feeling more tired than usual for some time
  • Losing weight for no obvious reason
  • An ache or pain in your chest or shoulder that has lasted some time
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.

How important it is to tell your doctor

Detecting lung cancer early makes it easier to treat, so telling your doctor quickly may save your life. It's probably nothing serious but it could also be a sign of something else that needs treatment.

So, don't ignore the symptoms or put off telling your doctor. It can make the world of difference and you won't be wasting anyone's time.

And if you know anyone who has any of these symptoms insist they tell their doctor. Again, it's probably nothing serious but they should get it checked out.

About telling your doctor

Your doctor will ask you a few questions, like the ones below, and may suggest a chest x-ray. This is standard procedure and nothing to worry about. Taking an x-ray is quick and simple and doesn't require an overnight hospital stay.

Your doctor may ask you some of these questions:

  • How long have you had a cough?
  • Has your cough changed over time?
  • Have you coughed up any blood?
  • Have you had any chest infextions recently?
  • Have you been short of breath? For how long?
  • Has your shortness of breath changed over time?
  • Have you lost any weight?
  • Have you had a pain in your chest or shoulder?
  • Has this pain changed over time?
It may help to write down your symptoms and how you feel, so you don't forget anything when telling your doctor

Useful information

Stop Smoking Wales

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