One Subtle Sign Can Help You Identify Lung Cancer And Save Your Life Before It's Too Late

Date May 31, 2018

Lung cancer is arguably one of the most dangerous types of cancer. You probably would not believe, but each year, it kills more women than breast, ovarian, or uterine cancer. Why is it so deadly? The one main reason is that in almost every case it was diagnosed too late. Approximately 70 percent of patients discovered lung cancer when it had already spread elsewhere in their body (metastasized), simply because there are no screening tests for detecting this type of cancer in early stages and the symptoms are non-characteristic if ever occur.

READ ALSO: 8 Symptoms Of Lung Cancer And Ways To Reduce The Risk Of The Disease

One subtle sign of lung cancer

To protect yourself, you need to know what signs can be associated with lung cancer. Unfortunately, the development of this type of cancer is typically asymptomatic. However, according to Andrea McKee, M.D., a chronic cough is a simple symptom that may be present early on in some cases. She explains that if a tumor is pushing on the right spot (usually, on one of the bronchi), it can trigger the cough receptors. The oncologist also adds that the tumor doesn’t even have to be large if it grows in such specific place. Some patients can also experience a cough with blood, depending on the location of the tumor.

Important note: If you have a persistent cough, which doesn’t end in two or three weeks and is not related to any virus or bacterial infections, it is recommended to visit a doctor as soon as possible.

What are the other symptoms?

Although in early stages the disease usually doesn’t cause any symptoms, some people may experience the following ones:

  • chest pain, which can worsen due to laughing, coughing, or deep breathing;
  • hoarseness;
  • weight loss and poor appetite;
  • shortness of breath;
  • constant fatigue;
  • chronic infections - bronchitis or pneumonia.

If cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it can cause these symptoms:

  • bone pain;
  • headaches, weakness or numbness in extremities, dizziness, or any other nervous system changes;
  • change of the skin color, typically yellowish (jaundice);
  • occurrence of lumps.

READ ALSO: What Causes Chest Pain? 20 Possible Causes Of This Dangerous Symptom And When It Is An Emergency

Any other manifestations of lung cancer?

Sometimes, depending on the location and size of the tumor, lung cancer can cause different syndromes, which are basically groups of very specific symptoms.

1. Horner syndrome

This syndrome is characterized by drooping of one eyelid, a smaller pupil in the same eye, reduced or completely absent sweating on the same side of the face, and shoulder pain. This syndrome occurs if the tumor grows in the top part of the lungs.

2. Superior vena cava syndrome

A large vein that carries blood from your head and arms to your heart is called the superior vena cava. The tumor can be located near the vein and press on it, thus worsening the blood flow. This can lead to swelling in the neck, arms, and the face.

3. Paraneoplastic syndromes

In rare cases, lung cancer can produce hormone-like substances that can disrupt the work of other organs, damage nervous system, increase levels of calcium, or lead to blood clots.

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Of course, many of the symptoms listed above can indicate different other diseases. However, you can’t go wrong if you visit your doctor for a checkup or consultation if you notice any of those. Remember that early detection is crucial for the successful treatment!

Take care and stay healthy!

                                                                                                     Source: Self, AmericanCancerSociety, Prevention

READ ALSO: 4 Major Symptoms Of Pulmonary Embolism And Tips To Reduce The Risk Of Developing It

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.