Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is the condition which is responsible for nearly 170,000 deaths per year - the highest number caused by any cancer.
In order to be properly treated it is important that symptoms are recognized as early as possible. Here are a few of the most common signs and symptoms of lung cancer.
Early Signs of Lung Cancer
One of the earliest signs of the illness is a persistent cough. Of course, this could arise for any number of reasons but a cough that will not go away or continues to get more and more severe should always be evaluated by a doctor.
Anytime that you develop a cough, you should ask yourself a few questions such as, "What have I been exposed to recently?" or "What might be the cause of my new cough?" You should always take an unrelenting cough very seriously.
Beyond a cough, many people will also experience a shortness of breath as one of the first symptoms of lung cancer. If you find that you are having trouble taking deep breaths after minimal activity (or even while sitting down), you should contact a medical professional. Wheezing or audible grieving is also an early sign. All of these symptoms should be taken more seriously if you are a smoker.
However, even nonsmokers who reside in the same home as a smoker are about 25% more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers that live with other nonsmokers. No matter who you are, you should take these symptoms seriously.
About 25% of people that develop lung cancer will experience chest pain as one of the first major symptoms. The pain may be concentrated to one area in the chest or it may branch out and be felt throughout both lungs.
Coughing up blood is also a major symptom that a significant number of patients experience. It doesn't matter if you cough up a lot of blood or just a bit, any amount should be considered serious.
Other Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Up until now we have talked about symptoms directly related to the respiratory system, but there are other symptoms of lung cancer that affect parts of the body that you may not expect. Patients will often notice changes in their fingernails as extra tissue moves to the tips of their fingers.
Weight loss, loss of appetite and general weakness are often experienced by patience of many different kinds of cancers. The same is true of a high fever and headaches -- which may be the result of your body working overtime to battle the invasion of the cancer.
Anytime that you experience these symptoms of lung cancer, you should think about contacting a doctor. However, you also need to understand that many of these symptoms can be caused by a number of different illnesses and the presence of one symptom does not necessarily mean that you're developing cancer.
Remember that a smoker is about 25 times more likely to develop lung cancer that a nonsmoker so people who have smoked cigarettes should keep an active eye out for these symptoms of lung cancer.