Spotlight on cancer awareness

While Movember takes the shine during November, did you also know that it is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month as well?

Unfortunately, both lung and pancreatic cancer both have low survival rates, and lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK which is why Cancer Research believes there needs to be more urgent research into these specific cancers.

Focus on lung cancer

  • During 2014, there were more than 46,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed.
  • From 2012 to 2014 lung cancer was most common in those aged between 85 and 89 years old.
  • Since 1990, lung cancer rates have actually decreased in the UK and this trend is expected to continue. However, research still needs to be conducted to improve the survival rates of those that are diagnosed.
  • During a lifetime, 1 in 13 men and 1 in 17 women are at risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Symptoms include:
    • A cough that won’t clear
    • Feeling tired or weak
    • Shortness of breath

Focus on pancreatic cancer

  • Almost 10,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer were diagnosed in 2014.
  • 37% of cases are preventable as they are linked to lifestyle changes.
  • Risks depend on many things including age and genetics.
  • Only 3% of those diagnosed in England and Wales survive more than 5 years after their initial diagnosis.
  • 26 new patients are diagnosed each day, with half of those classed as an emergency.
  • Symptoms include:
    • Weight loss
    • Jaundice
    • Abdominal pain

As with many forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer can be prevented through lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Not smoking.
  • Eating a healthy, varied and balanced diet.
  • Keeping active.
  • Moderating alcohol intake.

It is believed that if every person adhered to these four healthy behaviours they would add an average of 14 years to their lifespan.

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Health Shield now offers a cancer screening service for six of the most common cancers in the UK, so check your health cash plan benefits to see if you are covered.

Come along to the CIPD exhibition in Manchester this month and take part in one of our free mini health checks. A health screen can also help you identify the early stages of some cancers.