People Are Dismissing Lung Cancer For Covid – Could You Spot The Difference?

The symptoms of lung cancer and Covid-19 are very similar.
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People are mistaking lung cancer symptoms with Covid-19 symptoms, a leading charity has warned, meaning some could be delaying life-saving treatment.

Cancer Research polled more than 1,000 GPs and found that in November, many patients were not coming forward with symptoms that could be lung cancer.

Lung cancer symptoms like coughing, fatigue and shortness of breath are similar to those of Covid-19.

The charity’s analysis of NHS England data also found that 560 fewer people were seen by a specialist after an urgent suspected lung cancer referral in November 2021 in England, which was 10% less than anticipated when compared to pre-pandemic data.

Prior to the pandemic, there was already poor performance in finding and treating cancer. A target for 85% of patients to start treatment within two months of GP referral has only been only met twice since 2009, Cancer Research said.

Knowing the symptoms of lung cancer and seeking help as soon as possible will give you the best chances of recovery. Do you know the signs? If not, keep reading.

Symptoms of lung cancer:

According to the NHS, lung cancer symptoms can include:

  • a cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks

  • a long-standing cough that gets worse

  • chest infections that keep coming back

  • coughing up blood

  • an ache or pain when breathing or coughing

  • persistent breathlessness

  • persistent tiredness or lack of energy

  • loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

Symptoms of Covid-19:

  • a high temperature

  • a new, continuous cough

  • shortness of breath

  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

  • headache

  • fatigue

“For lung cancer in particular it does seem to be one of those cancers where for some people, delays of days and weeks really could make a difference,” said Dr Jodie Moffat, Cancer Research UK’s head of early diagnosis.

If you’re experiencing any lung cancer symptoms, make an appointment with your GP.