Lung cancer starts developing in the cells lining the organ. Detected often in smokers, lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. It may happen that a person might not display any recognisable signs of lung cancer in the early stages; symptoms may appear only when the disease has advanced. Doctors believe that chances of a full recovery and survival is possible if it is detected in the early stages. Failing to recognise the early signs of lung cancer often leads to late diagnosis and with that, treatment becomes less likely to succeed. Here are some signs to watch out for:
A cough contracted through a common cold or respiratory infection, often has a short duration of a week or two. But a cough that sticks for a longer period of time is a red flag. One must consult a doctor in such cases.
Sometimes one may notice a cough getting thicker, increase in the amount of mucus coming out or blood in the cough. These again mean a visit to a doctor is needed.
Experiencing chest pain is not always about the heart and could be a sign of lung cancer. One could also feel mild or sharp pain on the shoulder and the back.
Lung cancer can also cause shortness of breath. You might run out of breath while climbing the stairs or performing other tasks. This may happen if the lung cancer blocks the air passage or there is fluid in the chest, caused by the cancer.
The voice becoming deeper or hoarser is noticed if one has common cold, but if that stays for more than two weeks, it may be serious. Lung cancer tumours may affect the nerve of the voice box that leads to hoarseness of the voice.
Wheezing is when a whistling sound is created while breathing. This can happen for several reasons and though it is treatable, one should always talk about it to a doctor as it is another symptom of lung cancer.
Losing weight is also a sign of lung cancer as that could mean that cancer cells in the body are using up energy to grow in the body. One should immediately get in touch with a doctor if one is not under any weight loss programme but still shedding kilos.
There might be chances of recurrent and severe headaches if the lung tumour builds pressure on the superior vena cava which is a large vein responsible for moving blood from the upper body to the heart. Headaches may also mean that the lung cancer has spread to the brain. But it should also be noted that not all headaches are cancerous or symptoms of lung cancer.
One might feel pain in the bones if the lung cancer has spread to the bones. This may lead to pain in the back, shoulder, neck, and arms which often escalates at night. One might also face difficulty while moving.
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