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look out for lung condition; Warning over little known killer illness.

Byline: VIVIENNE AITKEN v.aitken@dailyrecord.co.uk

A LITTLE known lung disease which kills more people every year than leukaemia is being diagnosed too late to prevent a rapid decline.

Today marks the launch of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Awareness Week, which hopes to alert people to the early signs of the illness.

IPF scars the lungs causing them lose their elasticity so they're less able to inflate and take oxygen from the air.

The average life expectancy after diagnosis is between three and five years but there is hope of a longer life if it is caught early enough. Unlike most patients Jim Simpson, 71, from Aberdeen, had an early diagnosis five years ago, during investigations for a spine problem.

A scan revealed he had prostate cancer but, more worryingly, doctors could see shadowing in his lungs.

He was diagnosed with IPF but the early diagnosis meant he was able to begin treatment and five years later, he is still well enough to enjoy holidays in Italy.

He said: "I was lucky action could commence to at least treat and hopefully contain or slow down the spread of the IPF."

And he warned people to be on the lookout for signs of the illness.

He added: "Some people put a shortness of breath down to just getting older.

"But if you are finding a shortness of breath doing simple things like walking upstairs you should get it checked out, medication can slow the progression of IPF significantly."

Joseph Carter, head of British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: "More investment is urgently needed."

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EARLY DIAGNOSIS Jim

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 17, 2018
Words:268
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