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Hollywood or Bust: Dean Martin stars in trailer for 1956 film

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In 1993, the Rat Pack member was diagnosed with lung cancer, but it was respiratory failure that put the final nail in the coffin. The high school dropout, does trazodone help anxiety failed boxer, and former steelworker, was first catapulted into the limelight in the 1950s when he tried stand-up comedy alongside Jerry Lewis. Together, the pair made nightclub and television appearances and, by 1956, Dean Martin struck out on his own.

Dubbed “the coolest man who ever lived” by Playboy magazine, Martin was often photographed with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

According to The Atlantic, it wasn’t until 1964 when US surgeon general Luther Terry issued a definitive report that linked smoking cigarettes with lung cancer.

Nowadays, the NHS recognises that smoking accounts for more than 70 percent of lung cancer cases.

Prior to Martin’s lung cancer diagnosis, the father-of-eight had emphysema.

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Emphysema, the NHS clarified, describes damage that is done to the air sacs in the lungs.

The health condition causes breathing difficulties, including breathlessness, a persistent chesty cough, and persistent wheezing.

“Without treatment, the symptoms usually get progressively worse,” the health body pointed out.

Mainly affecting middle-aged or older adults who smoke, the symptoms tend not to appear until a person’s late 40s or 50s.

Emphysema falls under the wider condition known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD may also lead to weight loss, tiredness, swollen ankles, chest pain, and coughing up blood.

“These additional symptoms only tend to happen when COPD reaches an advanced stage,” the NHS noted.

People who are experiencing symptoms of COPD, particularly if they’re a smoker over the age of 35, or an ex smoker, should book a doctor’s appointment.

Treatment, such as inhalers and tablets, can help to slow down the progression of the condition and can help to control symptoms.

People diagnosed with COPD will be advised to stop smoking for the benefit of their health.

“COPD is a serious condition that can eventually reach a stage where it becomes life threatening,” the NHS stated.

The NHS offer a free local Stop Smoking Service to help those who want to quit cigarettes.

Lung cancer

If a tumour is growing inside of the lungs, there may not be any signs until the cancerous lesion has grown particularly big.

Symptoms of the life-threatening disease may include:

  • A cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks
  • A long-standing cough that gets worse
  • Chest infections that keep coming back
  • Coughing up blood
  • An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
  • Persistent breathlessness
  • Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.

Depending on which stage the tumour is diagnosed, and a person’s general health, treatment plans will differ.

For most cancers, the sooner treatment begins, the better the chances of a successful outcome.

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