Lung Cancer Symptoms to Watch Out For

Lung cancer mostly occurs in people aged 65 years and above. Many of those diagnosed with the disease do not live long. Early diagnosis for lung cancer improves the chances of treatment. Several studies have proven a 20% reduction in mortality when the disease is detected early.

Here are some of the lung cancer warning signs to watch out for:

  • Persistent coughing – When you experience continuous coughing for weeks, this could indicate a tumor that is pushing on your bronchi to trigger the cough receptors. Another symptom to look for is when coughing blood or dark phlegm.
  • Unexpected weight loss – Treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can suppress your appetite irrespective of the type of cancer. But lung cancer is one of the diseases that will directly suppress your desire to eat. About sixty percent of patients with lung cancer lose weight prior to their diagnosis. The exact cause of weight loss is not known.
  • Recurring infections of the lung – Infections occur naturally when one has cancer or when your immune system is suppressed. Lung related infections like bronchitis and pneumonia are prevalent in lung cancer patients. If you experience recurring issues or are struggling to recover, visit your doctor for advice.
  • Shortness of breath – Cancerous tumors often grow and start blocking the airways, making it difficult to breath. The fluid pooling within the lungs makes the problem worse. As the tumor progresses, the shortness of breath becomes more intense and cause asthma.
  • Neurological symptoms – Large tumors within the lungs will press on the superior vena cava as they continue to grow. The vena cava is a vein that can cause swelling, headaches and numbness when it is restricted. The shifts in strength and balance are side effects of small cell lung cancer where paraneoplastic syndrome disrupts the neuromuscular communication.

Lung cancer occurs in both smokers and non-smokers. You can prevent lung cancer by quitting smoking, limiting exposure to toxins, exercising and more. Since the disease presents its symptoms slowly, taking note of the above warning signs and seeking the opinion of your doctor will do you good.

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