To mark Lung Health Awareness Month this May, Lung Foundation Australia has launched a new Lung Health Checklist in a bid to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of lung disease and lung cancer, and to prompt Australians to start taking their lung health seriously.
Almost 1 in 3 Australians will be impacted by a lung disease or lung cancer – the second biggest killer in the country. Yet research shows almost half (46%) of all Australians rarely or never think about their lung health.
Lung Foundation Australia Chair and leading respiratory physician, Professor Christine Jenkins AM, said the COVID-19 pandemic had made Australians, and people around the world, more aware than ever of the impact lung health could have. But she stressed it was important that people took proactive steps.
“Over the last year we have seen a respiratory condition stop the world. Don’t let it stop yours. The symptoms of lung disease tend to creep up slowly and too often people put them down to ageing or lack of fitness,” Professor Jenkins said.
“Symptoms such as a new, persistent or changed cough, chest tightness or wheeze, breathlessness or fatigue could be a sign of something serious.
“This Lung Health Awareness Month make a commitment to yourself for your health. Take two minutes to complete the Lung Health Checklist, and discuss any symptoms with your doctor.”
Anyone can get lung disease; it affects men, women, children, smokers, ex-smokers and never smokers.
Lung Foundation Australia CEO Mark Brooke said early diagnosis of lung diseases could save lives and improve health outcomes.
“Lung disease doesn’t discriminate yet Australians don’t think of their lung health in the same way they do their heart, skin and breast health. Our checklist is a quick and clear way to indicate if you need to discuss your lung health with your doctor,” he said.
“Knowing the early warning signs of lung disease can help you get a diagnosis and receive treatment before the disease becomes serious or even life-threatening.”