Weight loss and a slight cough were the warning signs for one Southgate that he might have lung cancer.

But keen gardener George, 76, might not have found out until it was too late if he had not listened to his wife.

George had smoked since he was 18 but never had any health problems.

It was only towards the end of 2019 his wife noticed he was losing weight and had a slight ongoing cough.

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“I put the weight loss down to all the work I was doing on my allotment,” said George.

Despite this, George's wife persuaded him to go with her to see their GP, who immediately referred George for an X-ray.

This revealed a shadow on his right lung and half an hour later a CT scan confirmed a cancerous tumour.

Surgery was booked for the beginning of 2020, arranged by his hospital team at North Middlesex Hospital under respiratory consultant Zaheer Mangera.

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In January 2020, the tumour, the upper part of George's right lung and surrounding lymph nodes were removed at University College Hospital at Westmoreland Street in central London.

The operation was successful, but George developed sepsis during chemotherapy and then had a heart attack after returning home, all during the Covid pandemic.

George said: "I’ve been through a lot but I’m determined to get my quality of life back. I enjoy living and it’s a miracle I’m still around. I don’t expect to be as healthy as I was before my cancer diagnosis but I’m happy, given what I’ve been through.

"The doctor said ‘it’s over to you’ to get better and gradually I’ve been able to walk around the house and garden more, and I’ve gone back to the allotment. I rest when I need to, but it’s good to be back outside and spend time with friends.

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"I can’t thank the nurses and doctors enough for all they did for me.”

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the North Central London Cancer Alliance is reminding residents about changes in health that should be checked by a GP.

• Early diagnosis saves lives. Treatment at an early stage is much more likely to be successful

• Not all cough and breathing difficulties means that you have Covid-19

• A cough or breathlessness that goes on for more than three weeks should be investigated - particularly if you smoke or used to smoke significantly

• Other signs of lung cancer include coughing blood, unexpected weight loss and long-term tiredness

For more information, visit https://www.smallc.org.uk/get-involved/ncl-cancer-awareness-campaign/