HEALTH

Lung Cancer: How To Spot The Symptoms As Ronnie Wood Reveals Diagnosis

02/04/2014 2:29 AM AEDT | Updated 07/08/2017 6:55 PM AEST

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has revealed he was diagnosed with lung cancer three months ago.

In an effort to beat the disease, the 70-year-old had part of his lung removed. He admitted he feared it was “time to say goodbye” after learning the news.

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK, with roughly 46,400 people being diagnosed each year.

It's one of those tricky cancers that shows few symptoms in the early stages, meaning that by the time it is diagnosed, it may be quite advanced.

ronnie wood

There are two types of lung cancer - one that begins in the lungs (primary lung cancer), and another that spreads to the lungs from another part of the body.

Primary lung cancer is classed by the type of cells where the cancer begins. Non-small-cell lung cancer is the most common type - it tends to account for about 80% of all cases. The other type is less common - it is called small-cell lung cancer and spreads faster than the other type of lung cancer.

What causes lung cancer? Like most cancers, there are some undetermined reasons, but the most common is smoking.

According to Cancer Research UK: "Smoking causes nearly 9 out of 10 cases (86%). A further 3% of cases of lung cancer are caused by exposure to second hand smoke in non smokers (passive smoking)."

Other causes include exposure to radon gas (a radioactive substance), air pollution and family history. As for diet and lifestyle, more work needs to be done before conclusive findings are drawn.

However - a healthy lifestyle is important because if you do have lung cancer, your treatment and recovery will depend not only on the stage of cancer but how good your general health is.

The NHS says: "If the condition is diagnosed early and the cancerous cells are confined to a small area, surgery to remove the affected area of lung is usually recommended. If surgery is unsuitable due to your general health, radiotherapy to destroy the cancerous cells may be recommended instead.

"If the cancer has spread too far for surgery or radiotherapy to be effective, chemotherapy is usually used."

Take a look at some of the symptoms of lung cancer. In some cases these may be symptoms of much less serious ailments. If in doubt, simply check with your GP.

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