People are being encouraged to speak to their doctor as early as possible if they find themselves experiencing the early symptoms of lung cancer.

The Irish Cancer Society has launched a campaign, featuring a giant inflatable set of lungs, promoting lung cancer awareness and prevention.

The organisation's cancer prevention manager has said it is "quite possible that many people ignore the very common symptoms" of lung cancer.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Kevin O'Hagan said these can include difficulty breathing; a persistent cough, which can change; repeated chest infections that will not go away even after antibiotics; wheezing; feeling tired and having a hoarse voice.

Mr O'Hagan said that people can live with these symptoms for a long period of time, causing the situation to get much worse.

"We're asking people to be more proactive and talk to their doctor much earlier about these symptoms and give themselves the best possible chance," he said.

"It is true many of these symptoms are missed and are not taken as seriously as they should be."

Mr O'Hagan added that more serious symptoms include coughing-up blood-stained phlegm; a pain in the chest, especially when coughing; a loss of appetite; weight loss; difficultly swallowing and swelling around the face and neck.

He added that many of these symptoms can be common with other illnesses and do not mean a person has lung cancer.

However he cautioned that they indicate something is wrong and need to checked out by a doctor.

Mr O'Hagan said that the Irish Cancer Society will be emphasising the importance of maintaining good lung health, particularly focusing on the dangers of smoking.

He said "the rate of new cases of lung cancer closely follow smoking rates and about 90% of lung cancers are due to smoking."

The MEGA Lungs exhibit, which features what Mr O'Hagan said are "probably the world’s only portable, inflatable, walk-through [lung] exhibit", is in Blanchardstown and Crumlin this week and there are plans to bring it to other locations around the country.