Lung cancer warning: What colour is your phlegm? Sign in your cough you may be ignoring

Lung cancer is one of the most serious types of cancer to be diagnosed, as it’s usually difficult to spot until it has spread to other parts of the body. You could be at risk of the disease if you cough up rust-coloured sputum, it’s been revealed.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers to be diagnosed in the UK, warned the NHS.

Around 45,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK every year.

Signs of the disease only tend to reveal themselves once the cancer has spread through the lungs.

One of the key symptoms of lung cancer is coughing up a brown/red-coloured sputum.

Most lung cancer patients develop a persistent cough as one of the first signs of the condition.

The cough may get worse and worse, and could develop into a chronic cough.

Accompanying this cough, patients may start to cough up blood or phlegm, warned the Lung Cancer Foundation of America.

The phlegm may appear to be red, pink or brown, and that’s usually an indication that there’s blood present.

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“Finding lung cancer early allows for more personalised treatment options, with a much better success rate,” it said.

“Your body induces itself to cough in order to protect any particles from entering your airways and the lungs.

“A cough that doesn’t go away or worsens into a chronic cough, is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer.

“If you are coughing up blood or rust-coloured spit/phlegm, see your doctor immediately.”

But most people develop a bad cough at some point in their lifetime, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have lung cancer.

A cough is simply a reflex action to try and clear your airways of dust or mucus.

Most coughs go away by themselves within three weeks, without the need for any major treatment.

But, for more persistent coughs, you should consider speaking to a doctor.

The outlook for lung cancer isn’t as good as other types of cancer.

That’s because the symptoms are usually only spotted in its later stages.

About one in three patients live for at least a year after their diagnosis, while one in 20 live for another 10 years.

Around 45,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK every year.

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