Lung Health

General Lung Health

Regularly check your lungs using the Lung Foundation Australia's Lung Health Check – though not a diagnostic test, it will help you recognise if you need to speak to your GP about your lung health. Some of the questions include:

  • Do you have a new, persistent or changed cough?
  • Do you cough up mucus, phlegm or blood?
  • Do you get breathless more easily than others your age? 
  • Do you experience chest tightness or wheeze?
  • Do you have frequent chest infections?
  • Do you experience chest pain, fatigue and sudden weight loss?
If you answered yes to any of the questions, your lung health could be at risk, do talk to your GP about your Lung Health and ask him/her to perform a diagnostic test for you.
 

Asthma

Asthma is a long-term lung condition.  People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs which react to triggers, causing a ‘flare-up’. In a flare-up, the muscles around the airway squeeze tight, the airways swell and become narrow and there is more mucus. These things make it harder to breathe.

Symptoms of Asthma

COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD Action Plan
Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women in Australia. There are more than 9,700 new cases diagnosed each year. Lung cancer is usually diagnosed in people who smoke or have ever smoked. Occupational exposure to asbestos, radon, hydrocarbons and metals is also associated with lung cancer. The symptoms for lung cancer can vary, however Lung Foundation Australia recommends having the following symptoms checked by your GP:

  • A persistent chest infection (or a cough that doesn’t go away) or if you have asthma, COPD or allergies that predispose you to a cough, you may develop a new or changed cough or wheeze;
  • You may notice you’ve begun coughing up a small amount of blood or the phlegm is streaked with blood (known as haemoptysis);
  • Breathlessness or a shortness of breath with activity;
  • Repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis;
  • Weight loss;
  • Metastases (or the spread of disease, such as infection or cancer, from one organ to another); and
  • Low energy levels (fatigue)
  • You also may be experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, hoarseness or wheezing, difficulty swallowing, or abdominal and joint pain.
  • Having any one of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have cancer. Some of these symptoms may be caused by other conditions or be side effects of smoking.

Remember to talk to your GP to have your symptoms checked out. Lung cancer is often discovered when it’s advanced and may be detected during routine tests.

*Based on information provided by Lung Foundation Australia – Better Living with Lung Cancer

Resources

Lung health support resources & services available to you.

Lung Foundation Australia Information & Patient Support
Call 1800 654 301 or visit the Lung Foundation Australia website

Asthma Foundation SA
Call 1800 278 462 (1800 ASTHMA) or visit Asthma Foundation SA's website

National Asthma Council Australia
Visit National Asthma Council Australia's website

Cancer Council SA Quitline
Call 13 78 48 or visit Quitline's website

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Web content is based on the “Lung Foundation Australia" and "Asthma Australia"