‘Haemoptysis’ a ‘complication’ that can arise from lung cancer

Lung cancer is one of the four most common cancers in the UK alongside breast, bowel, and prostate cancer. Every year around 48,000 people are diagnosed with the condition and every year around 34,000 people die from the condition. Haemoptysis is one of the potential complications of lung cancer.

Also known as coughing up blood. Health experts say lung cancer can cause bleeding in the airway, leading someone to cough up blood.
Coughing up blood is also one of the symptoms of lung cancer.

Other symptoms include, according to experts from the NHS:
• A cough that does not go away after three weeks
• A long-standing cough that gets worse
• Chest infections that keep coming back
• An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
• Persistent breathlessness
• Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
• Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.

While lung cancer has one of the poorest 10 year survival rates – just 10 percent of people survive beyond this point – up to 80 percent of cases are preventable.

And there are a few ways you can reduce your risk.

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The main way to reduce your risk of developing lung cancer is to not smoke or to quit smoking.

The NHS said: “If you smoke, the best way to prevent lung cancer and other serious conditions is to stop smoking as soon as possible. However long you have been smoking, it’s always worth quitting.

“Every year you do not smoke decreases your risk of getting serious illnesses, such as lung cancer. After 12 years of not smoking, your chance of developing lung cancer falls to more than half that of someone who smokes.

“After 15 years, your chances of getting lung cancer are almost the same as someone who has never smoked.”

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Are there other factors that can affect your risk?

Yes, there are. This includes where you live. Scientists are developing a greater understanding of how air pollution can increase your risk of lung cancer.

Recently, researchers from the Francis Crick Institute revealed that air pollution can cause lung cancer, even in people who haven’t smoked.

Examining data from over 400,000 people they found that exposure to a type of particulate matter known as PM2.5 could promote the growth of cells which contain cancer-causing mutations.

Presented by Professor Charles Swanton in September, the research noted how air pollution causes one in 10 lung cancer cases in the UK. Professor Swanton said: “Cells with cancer-causing mutations accumulate naturally as we age, but they are normally inactive. We’ve demonstrated that air pollution wakes these cells up in the lungs, encouraging them to grow and potentially form tumours.”

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Professor Swanton added: “The mechanism we’ve identified could ultimately help us to find better ways to prevent and treat lung cancer in never smokers.

“If we can stop cells from growing in response to air pollution, we can reduce the risk of lung cancer.”

Meanwhile, co-author of the study Doctor Emilia Lin said: “According to our analysis, increasing air pollution levels increases the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and cancers of the mouth and throat.

“This finding suggests a broader role for cancers caused by inflammation triggered by a carcinogen like air pollution.”

Doctor Lin added: “Even small changes in air pollution levels can affect human health. Some 99 percent of the world’s population lives in areas which exceed annual WHO limits for PM2.5, underlining the public health challenges posed by air pollution across the globe.”

The problem of air pollution is set to become more prominent as the climate crisis worsens and the public becomes affected to a much greater degree.

In recent weeks this has been brought to the fore both at a national and international level. At an international level, representatives from the world’s major economies appeared at COP27.

Meanwhile, protestors Just Stop Oil have been highlighting the impact of the crisis with recent protests on the M25. The group said: “We demand that the UK Government makes a statement that it will immediately halt all future licensing and consents for the exploration, development, and production of fossil fuels in the UK.”

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