World Lung Cancer Day – 1 August 2020

World Lung Cancer Day – 1 August 2020

Taking place on 1 August, World Lung Cancer Day raises awareness about lung cancer and its global impact. The day aims to create an educational movement of understanding lung cancer risks as well as early treatment around the world.

Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer. Around 47,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK.  It’s estimated that lung cancer accounts for nearly one in five cancer deaths globally. In 2012, there were 1.8 million newly diagnosed cases of this disease alone.

Lung cancer is also one of the most common work-related cancers, caused by exposure to dangerous carcinogens such as asbestos, silica dust and diesel fumes. However, it can be prevented by putting in place measures to control exposure at work.

IOSH (Institute of Occupational Safety & Health) is calling for support for World Lung Cancer Day and is encouraging everyone to use their ‘No Time to Lose’ campaign resources to help raise awareness of how to protect people from this deadly disease. Further IOSH information and resources are at:-

In support of World Lung Cancer Day, the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS), calls for more awareness and understanding of lung cancer risk factors, as well as the importance of early screening and treatment. See attached ‘FIRS’ Fact Sheet.

Cancer Research UK are supporting the World Lung Cancer Day and their special web page is at:-

Lung cancer is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 cancer deaths according to the World Health Organization. While lung cancer and breast cancer are diagnosed at the same rate (11.6 percent), lung cancer kills more people yearly than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Lung cancer mortality is projected to reach 2.45 million by 2030, a 39 percent increase in just over a decade.

While most understand that smoking is the single greatest risk factor for lung cancer at 80 percent of all cases, other lesser known risk factors include the environment and genetics. Environmental exposure to radon, asbestos, arsenic, beryllium and uranium has been linked to lung cancer. The risk of lung cancer also increases with a history of cancer in another part of the body, age, family history, radiation to the chest area and lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Access to screening options and education is vital for early detection and treatment. Low-income countries, where survival rates are significantly below the average, report only a 15 percent availability of treatment through public health systems. More that 90 percent of high-income countries report vital access to care.

Lung cancer symptoms include change in mucus, chest or back pain, coughing up blood and difficulty swallowing. Tests that may be used to diagnose lung cancer include chest x-rays, CT and PET scans, bronchoscopy and needle biopsies. If you are a current or former smoker and over the age of 55, you may be a candidate for a low-dose CT scan screening that can potentially detect lung cancer in its earliest stages.

Identifying symptoms:

Identifying symptoms early can mean that treatment is more effective. Warning signs to look out for include:

  • a persistent cough
  • a cough you have had for a while that gets worse
  • breathlessness
  • coughing up phlegm with traces of blood
  • an ache or pain in the chest or shoulder
  • loss of appetite or unexpected weight loss
  • tiredness

Lung Cancer Facts:

  • The most frequently diagnosed cancer is lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer at 1.74 million (18.4 percent).
  • Lung cancer deaths exceed breast cancer mortality for women in 28 countries.
  • Lung cancer mortality is projected to reach 2.45 million worldwide by 2030, a 39 percent increase since 2018.
  • About 80 percent of lung cancer deaths are as a result of smoking tobacco.
  • Smokers exposed to other known risk factors such as radon and asbestos are at an even higher risk.
  • For men, lung cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer, it is third for women.

Prevention of lung cancer:

Over 80% of lung cancer cases are associated with smoking and other risk factors are air pollution, workplace exposure to Asbestos, Silica and diesel engine exhaust fumes and ionising radiation. Stopping people being exposed to these risk factors can help to prevent lung cancer.

The NHS Prevention – lung cancer advice is as follows:


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 10 years of not smoking, your chances of developing lung cancer falls to half that of someone who smokes. “NHS Smokefree” can offer advice and support to help people quit smoking. Call 0300 123 1044, or visit the website.  A GP or pharmacist can also give advice about stopping smoking.

A balanced diet

Research suggests that eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including at least 5 portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables and plenty of wholegrains, can reduce the risk of lung cancer, as well as other types of cancer and heart disease.


There’s strong evidence to suggest that regular exercise can lower the risk of developing lung cancer and other types of cancer. Most adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, plus strength-training exercises on at least 2 days each week.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

LTB 400/20 – World Lung Cancer Day 1 August 2020


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