7 Early Signs of Lung Cancer| American Cancer Society

Early Signs of Lung Cancer| American Cancer Society


Most lung malignancies don't cause indications until the point that they spread, yet a few people with early lung growth have manifestations.  If you see your doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms, your cancer can be diagnosed early if the treatment is more effective. The most common early signs of lung cancer are:

Early Signs of Lung Cancer

1. A cough that won’t quit


Watch for a new cough that persists. A cough that accompanies a cold or respiratory infection will disappear in a week or two, but a persistent cough may be a symptom of lung cancer.

Do not be tempted to reject a persistent cough, be it dry or expectorant. See your doctor immediately. You listen to your lungs and have an X-ray or other tests.

2. Change in a cough


Watch for changes in a chronic cough, especially if you smoke. If you cough more frequently, if your cough is deeper, or if you cough hoarseness or coughing up blood or an unusual amount of mucus, it's time to make an appointment with the doctor.

If a family member or friend experiences these changes suggest they consult their doctor. Learn about the symptoms and causes of bronchorrhea.

3. Breathing changes


Shortness of breath or shortness of breath is also possible symptoms of lung cancer. Changes in the airways can occur when lung cancer blocks or narrows the airways, or when fluid from a lung tumor accumulates in the chest.

Be careful not to feel breathless or short of breath. If you have trouble breathing or performing tasks that you have already found easily after climbing stairs, do not ignore them.

4. Pain in the chest area


Lung cancer can cause chest, shoulder or back pain. A feeling of pain cannot be associated with a cough. Tell your doctor if you notice any type of chest pain, be it acute, dull, constant or intermittent.

You should also keep in mind whether it is restricted to a specific area or to the entire breast. When lung cancer causes chest pain, discomfort may be caused by enlarged lymph nodes or metastases of the chest wall, mucous membrane around the lungs, called the pleura or ribs.

5. Wheezing


When the airways become narrowed, blocked or inflamed, the lungs produce a hissing or whistling sound when breathing. Gasping can be associated with a number of causes, some of which are benign and easy to treat.

However, wheezing is also a symptom of lung cancer, which is why it deserves your doctor's attention. Do not assume that wheezing is caused by asthma or allergies. Ask your doctor to confirm the cause.

6. Raspy, hoarse voice


If you notice any noticeable change in your voice or if someone else points out that your voice is more serious, hoarse or hoarse, have your doctor check it.

Hoarseness can be caused by a simple cold, but this symptom may indicate something more serious if it lasts longer than two weeks. Hoarseness due to lung cancer can occur when the tumor affects the nerve that controls the larynx or the voice box.

7. Drop in weight


Unexplained weight reduction of 10 pounds or more might be related to lung growth or another kind of malignancy. In the case of cancer, this weight loss can be caused by the use of energy by the cancer cells. This could also result from changes in the way the body uses energy from food.

Do not stop weight changes if you have not tried to lose weight. This can be a sign of a change in your health.

Most of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by something other than lung cancer. However, if any of these problems occur, it is important to see your doctor immediately to determine the cause and treat it if necessary.

Some types of lung cancer can cause syndromes, which are very specific groups of symptoms.

Horner's syndrome


Cancers of the upper lungs (sometimes called Pancoast tumors) can sometimes affect certain nerves of the eye and part of the face, leading to a group of symptoms known as Horner's syndrome:

Doping or weakness of an eyelid


A smaller pupil (dark part in the middle of the eye) in the same eye

Reduced or missing sweating on the same side of the face

Pancoast tumors can sometimes cause severe shoulder pain.

Superior vena cava syndrome


The upper vena cava (Svc) is a large vein that carries blood from the head and arms to the heart. It runs alongside the upper right lung and lymph nodes in the thorax. Tumors in this area can depress SVC, which can cause blood to collect in the veins. This can cause swelling of the face, neck, arms and upper chest (sometimes with bluish-red skin color).

It can also cause headaches, dizziness, and a change in consciousness if it affects the brain. The CVS syndrome may develop gradually over time, but in some cases, it can be life-threatening and must be treated promptly.

Paraneoplastic Syndromes


Some lung cancers produce hormone-like substances that enter the bloodstream and cause problems for distant tissues and organs, even if cancer has not spread to these tissues or organs. These problems are referred to as paraneoplastic syndromes.

At times these disorders can be the principal side effects of lung malignancy.  Because the symptoms affect other organs than the lungs, patients and their doctors may initially suspect a disease other than lung cancer.

Some of the common paraneoplastic syndromes associated with lung cancer are:

SIADH (inadequate antidiuretic hormone syndrome): In this condition, cancer cells produce a hormone (DHA) that allows the kidneys to store water. This reduces the salt content in the blood. The symptoms of SIADH may be fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle weakness or cramping, nausea, vomiting, arousal, and confusion. Without treatment, severe cases can lead to seizures and coma.

Cushing Syndrome: In this condition, cancer cells can produce ACTH, a hormone that causes the secretion of cortisol by the adrenal glands. This can lead to symptoms such as weight gain, bruising, weakness, drowsiness and fluid retention. Cushing syndrome can also cause high blood pressure and high blood sugar (or even diabetes).

Sensory system issues: Lung malignancy can now and then reason the body's resistant framework to assault parts of the sensory system, which can prompt issues. One example is a muscle disorder called Lambert-Eaton syndrome, in which the muscles around the hips become weaker. One of the first signs may be getting up from a sitting position.

Later, the muscles around the shoulder can become weak. A rarer problem is paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, which can result in loss of balance and instability in arm and leg movements and difficulties in speaking or swallowing.

High levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia): can cause frequent urination, thirst, constipation, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, confusion and other nervous system problems

Excessive growth or thickening of certain bones: This is often in the fingertips and can be painful.

Blood clot

Excessive breast in men (gynecomastia)

Again, many of these symptoms are more likely caused by something other than lung cancer. However, if any of these problems occur, it is important to see your doctor immediately to determine the cause and treat it if necessary.
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