A REDDITCH man who has lung cancer is supporting a national campaign to raise awareness of the disease.

Malcolm Merryman who was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in 2012, is backing lung cancer awareness month in November.

He said: “It was bonfire night when I first began to notice a problem. I had gone to a fireworks display at our local fire station and had the usual burgers and hotdogs. That night  I had terrible indigestion and pain in my arm and chest.

“The following weeks the same thing kept happening and I thought I had acid reflux. I visited my doctor and explained I also had a pain in my arm and shoulder and he sent me for an X-ray.

“They told me they had found a tumour, which was 8cm in diameter in my left lung, and I would need to go to the hospital immediately.

“I’m currently waiting to hear whether the treatment will be cure or containment but either way I’m not going to stop fighting till the end.”

Each year almost 40,000 UK people are diagnosed with lung cancer, making it the second most common cancer after breast cancer.

Despite this awareness of the signs and symptoms is low and more than two thirds of patients are diagnosed at a stage when they are unable to be cured. 

Paula Chadwick, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation chief executive, said: “The majority of people know that a lump in their breast or their testicles can be a sign of cancer.

“However, awareness of the symptoms of lung cancer is exceptionally low despite it being the biggest cancer killer.

“The earlier people are diagnosed, the more chance they can receive treatment and the more lives that can be saved.”

The early signs and symptoms including a cough that doesn’t go away after two to three weeks, worsening of a long-standing cough, repeated chest infections, coughing up blood, unexplained persistent breathlessness, tiredness or weight loss, and persistent chest and/or shoulder pain.

For more information about Lung Cancer Awareness Month, see www.roycastle.org/awareness.