Lung Cancer Symptoms and Warning Signs
Neglecting lung cancer symptoms can be fatal. This is a serious disease of the lungs which develops when certain lung cells no longer function normally and grow abnormally and uncontrollably. Most of these cancers originate in the bronchi of the lungs.
Lung cancer symptoms can appear insignificant at the beginning. As the disorders persist, however, they can become progressively severe, leading the people to seek medical care. Only medical diagnostics can detect and stage the tumor. Unfortunately, the prognosis associated with this pathology is very unpleasant. To increase lung cancer survival rates, the first and most important thing is to detect the disease early.
Early Lung cancer symptoms
At the beginning, symptoms are not specific to this disease; they can be taken for symptoms of flu or allergy. That is, they can be caused by other non-serious medical conditions. However, some symptoms are more typical of lung cancer, although they may also occur in other conditions.
If you have any of these disorders related to the tumor and they persist, it is important to consult your doctor, especially if you smoke or have smoked (even if you have stopped smoking many years ago).
Common lung cancer symptoms
Some lung cancer symptoms occur in nearly one in two patients and are therefore considered common. They combine respiratory problems and general malaise or physical deterioration, including:
- Weight loss;
- Loss of appetite;
- Bloody sputum (hemoptysis);
- Repeated lung infections (bronchitis or pneumonia);
- Unusual and persistent fatigue which can be associated with general malaise;
- Occurrence or worsening of shortness of breath, in the absence of heart disease or other respiratory problems;
- Onset of cough or increase of chronic bronchitis cough (coughing up thickened mucus);
- Acute or chronic severe pain indicating a muscle strain (muscle pull), or shoulder pain evoking rheumatism.
Difficulty swallowing which often relates to compression of the esophagus (dysphagia);
Horner syndrome, the collapse or weakness of the eyelid of one eye which can narrow the pupil of the eye itself;
Hoarse voice (dysphonia) or persistent loss of voice due to compression of nerve involved in the operation of the vocal cords;
Wheezing which can be caused by the compression of the trachea and bronchi; the narrowing of the airways often leads to some difficulty breathing;
A series of abnormal physiological events such as swelling of the face and neck, headaches, visible veins on the upper chest which can indicate compression of the superior vena cava.
Difficulty breathing due to presence of fluid in the pleural cavity of the lungs (pleurisy) or the presence of stagnant liquid between the 2 layers of the pericardium membrane that surrounds the heart (pericarditis).
Although these are common symptoms of lung cancer, their presence does not automatically confirm the diagnostic of the disease; only medical diagnostic procedures can ascertain you have the cancer.