signs & symptoms of lung cancer

The common signs and symptoms of lung cancer may take years to appear and are often confused with symptoms of less serious conditions. If you go to your doctor when you first notice symptoms, your cancer might be diagnosed and treated while it is in a curable stage.

chest signs and symptoms

A smoker’s cough that persists or becomes intense is often the first warning sign of lung cancer. However, if a person has a cough that persists for more than two weeks, they should consult their family physician. Additionally, if an individual experiences persistent chest, shoulder, or back pain, unrelated to the pain from coughing, they need to have a physical examination by a qualified practitioner.
 
Other respiratory-related lung cancer symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath 

  • Increase in volume of sputum 

  • Wheezing 

  • Change in color of sputum 

  • Blood in sputum

Other signs and symptoms of lung cancer may not be respiratory in nature. Individuals can experience lung cancer symptoms including fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, bone pain, aching joints, bone fractures, neck or facial swelling, and unexplained weight loss.  These signs and symptoms also may be caused by the spread of lung cancer to other parts of the body. Individuals can protect themselves from the disease. The best way to prevent lung cancer from occurring is not to smoke, and to avoid people who do smoke. Even for individuals who do smoke tobacco, stopping is their best protection.

The American Cancer Society recommends finding out about cancer-causing chemicals that you may be exposed to at work and taking appropriate protective measures.

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