Lung cancer is one of those diseases that does not exhibit any noticeable symptoms in its early stages. Unfortunately, it is for this reason that many people are not diagnosed until the disease has advanced.
In this article you’ll learn more about the symptoms of lung cancer, what you should look out and listen for, and how early screening can help those individuals who at high risk for this disease.
7) A cough that won’t quit.
Never ignore a new cough that lingers. A cough along with a cold or a respiratory infection usually goes away in a week or two, but a lingering cough that persists can be an early sign of lung cancer. Whether it is dry or produces mucus, you should never dismiss a stubborn cough. Consult a doctor right away.
6) Changes in cough.
Be on alert for any changes in a lingering cough, especially if you are a smoker. If your cough sounds hoarse or deeper, or happens more often, and is accompanied by blood or an unusual amount of mucus, it is time to visit your doctor. If you happen to know a family member or a friend who is experiencing these changes, suggest that they go to the doctor immediately.
5) Changes in breathing.
Becoming easily winded or having shortness of breath may be symptoms of lung cancer. Breathing changes can happen when lung cancer narrows or blocks an airway. Another reason could be fluid from a lung tumor that build up in the chest.
Pay attention when you feel easily winded or when you have shortness of breath. If you have a hard time breathing after climbing a flight of stairs or doing some activities you once found easy, do not disregard it.
4) Chest pain.
Lung cancer may cause discomfort in the chest, back or shoulders. The pain may not be related to coughing. If you notice any type of pain in your chest area, whether it is constant, intermittent, dull or sharp, immediately let your doctor know. Also take note if the pain occurs throughout your chest or just a particular area. Chest pain caused by cancer usually occurs because of metastasis to the lining around the lungs, ribs or chest wall.
3) Voice turning raspy and hoarse.
If you notice a significant change in your voice, or if somebody tells you that your voice sounds hoarse, raspy or deeper than usual, immediately consult a doctor. Although hoarseness can also be a symptom of the common cold, if it persists for more than two weeks, it could be something more serious. Hoarseness associated with lung cancer happens when the tumor affects the nerves of the larynx.
2) Unexplained weight loss.
A sudden and inexplicable drop in weight (like 10 pounds or more) may be related to cancer or another type of cancer. When cancer is present, the weight loss may be the result of cancer cells using up all the energy.
Never ignore a sudden change in your weight if you have not been trying to shed some pounds off. It could give you a clue about the state of your health.
1) Pain in the bones.
Pain in the back or other areas of the body may be caused by lung cancer that has spread to the bones. This pain may worsen during night time or when resting at your back. One way to differentiate bone pain from muscle pain is that bone pain becomes increasingly painful with movement and often gets worse at night.
Although less common, lung cancer has also been associated with neck, shoulder or arm pain. Always be attentive to your body pains and aches and be sure to tell you doctor about them.