9 early signs and symptoms of lung cancer in men & women

Actually, lung cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in or two lungs. These abnormal cells do not carry out the functions of normal lung cells and do not grow into healthy lung tissue. When they grow, the abnormal cells could form tumors and interfere with the functioning of the lungs which supplies the oxygen to the human body through the blood. It is shown that it takes a series of mutations to form a lung cancer cell. Before becoming full cancerous, the cells could be precancerous, in that they have some mutations yet still function normally as lung cells.

Primary lung cancer begins in the lungs. The cancer cells are not normal lung cells. Sometimes, people will have cancer travel from another part of their bodies or metastasize to their own lungs – which called secondary lung cancer as the lungs are a secondary site in comparison to the original primary location of the cancer. For instance, breast cancer cells traveling to the lung are not lung cancer yet rather metastatic breast cancer.

It is estimated that about 40% of people diagnosed with lung cancer, the diagnosis is made after the disease has advanced. In one third of those diagnosed, the cancer has reached the third stage. Thus, in order to prevent more severe cases of lung cancer, you had better acknowledge more about early signs and symptoms of lung cancer.

Read more: how to prevent lung cancer

Symptoms of lung cancer
Symptoms of lung cancer

In this article, you will discover:

  1. Common Early Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
  2. Who At Higher Risk Of Lung Cancer?
  3. Facts About Lung Cancer

Common Early Symptoms Of Lung Cancer

1. Cough That Does Not Quit

Whilst a cough associated with a respiratory infection or a cold will disappear in one week or two, a persistent cough that lingers could be a potential sign of lung cancer. Thus, you should not be tempted to dismiss a continual cough, whether it is mucus-producing or dry.

2. Change In Coughs

Regarding symptoms of lung cancer, changes in coughs might be a noticeable one. Pay attention to any changes in a chronic cough, especially if you are a long-term smoker. When you cough more often, your cough has a hoarse or deeper sound, or you are coughing up more mucus or blood than normal, then it is time for you to make an appointment with your doctor. If your family member or friend used to experience these changes, suggest a doctor visit for them. [Read: best foods for lung health]

3. Changes In Breathing

You had better pay attention to the changes in your breathing patterns. Shortness of breath or becoming winded easily is also early symptoms of lung cancer. This sign could happen if lung cancer narrows or blocks an airway, or if fluid from a certain lung tumor forms in the chest. If this symptom happens after climbing stairs, bring in groceries or doing any tasks that you can previously do without any difficulty in breathing, do not ignore it. [Read: little known tips for meditation]

4. Pain In The Chest

When a person suffers from lung cancer, he/she might experience pain in their back area, shoulder or chest. This aching feeling might not be associated with coughing. You should tell your doctor if you notice any kind of chest pain, no matter it is dull, constant, sharp or simply comes and goes. Notice that whether it is confined to a particular area or is happening throughout the chest. Once the lung cancer leads to chest pain, the discomfort might lead to enlarged lymph nodes or metastasis to the ribs, the chest wall, or pleura.

5. Wheezing

If the airways become blocked, constricted or inflamed, the human lungs will produce a wheezing or whistling sound when breathing. There are many causes of wheezing, some of which are benign and rather treatable. Nevertheless, wheezing might also be a one of symptoms of lung cancer. If wheezing keeps continuing, you should not assume it is one of the symptoms of asthma or allergies, rather than you should have your doctor confirm the underlying cause behind it.

6. Hoarse Or Raspy Voice

In addition to wheezing or shortness of breath, if your voice significantly changes and it becomes hoarse, deeper, or raspier, you should visit your doctor instantly. Hoarsenes could be resulted by a natural cold, but this sign also becomes worrisome as it hangs on for over two weeks. The hoarseness associated with lung cancer could happen when the tumor impacts the nerve which takes control of the voice box – or the larynx.

7. A Sudden Loss Of Weight

If recently, you notice an unexplained weight loss of at least 10 pounds, it might be associated with lung cancer or another kind of cancer. Once cancer is present, this loss in weight might be the result of the fact that cancer cells use energy within the body. Also, it can result from the shifts in the manner the human body uses food energy. [Read: exercises to lose weight fast]

8. Bone Pain

The condition advanced of lung cancer might spread to the bones, producing pain the back as well as other body part. This pain might worse at nighttime whilst the suffer rests on their back. In addition, lung cancer is occasionally associated with neck, shoulder or arm pain, despite this is less popular. Be attentive to your pains and chests, and discuss them with your own doctor. [Read: bone cancer symptoms and signs]

9. Headache

Headache, among many symptoms of lung cancer, can be the sign that lung cancer has spread to the human brain. Nevertheless, not all headaches in those with lung cancer are linked with brain metastases. Occasionally, a lung tumor could create the pressure on the superior vena cava, which is the large vein moving blood from the upper body parts to the heart. That pressure could also result in headaches. [Read: how to relieve headache naturally]

Aside from the common symptoms of lung cancer above, there are other lesser-known signs, which are:

• Bone fractures which are not related to accidental injury

• Facial or neck swelling

• Bleeding

• General weakness

• Blood clots

• Neurological symptoms like memory loss or unsteady gait

In fact, if the original lung cancer has spread, an individual might feel symptoms in other parts of his/her body. The common places for the condition of lung cancer to spread contain other parts of the lungs, bones, lymph nodes, brain, liver and even adrenal glands.

Who At Higher Risk Of Lung Cancer?

According to the study prompted by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force showed that, there is a group of people with higher risk of lung cancer, including:

• People with a history of smoking

• People age from 55 to 79

• People who have smoked within the past 15 years

Facts About Lung Cancer

• Lung cancer is considered as the top cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in not only the U.S but also worldwide

• Tobacco smoking is the basic risk factor of developing of lung cancer

• Passive exposure cigarette smoke also could result in lung cancer

• There are two kinds of lung cancer, which develop and spread differently, are the non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) and the small cell lung cancers (SCLC)

• The phase of lung cancer refers to the extent to which cancer has spread within the body

• Remedy of lung cancer could get involved in a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy and newer experimental methods

• The general prognosis of lung cancer is poor as doctors tend to not discover the illness till it becomes advanced phase. It is estimated that the percentage of 5-year survival is about 40 to 50% for those with early phase of lung cancer, and about 1 to 5% in those with advanced or inoperable cases.

• Smoking cessation is the most crucial measure that could prevent the growth of lung cancer.

This article refers the information introduced in WebMD.

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