Lung cancer, medically known as lung carcinoma, is a form of cancer that is defined by abnormal cell growth within the lung’s tissues. This growth can eventually spread past the lungs and to the rest of the body. Causes of lung cancer include family history, smoking and exposure to various toxins. Lung cancer can be fatal if not detected early. However, with the latest research in cancer treatments, it can be treated if detected early.
Read on for several signs that may indicate lung cancer:
1. Low energy or fatigue
Fatigue is a condition that affects most people who have lung cancer. Fatigue is a state of body and mind which is characterized by feeling a lack of energy, weakness and tiredness. Statistics indicate that 90% of all patients experience this symptom. And unfortunately once they start lung cancer treatments such as radiation therapy, this furthermore causes more tiredness related symptoms.
2. Coughing up blood
The medical terminology for the act of ‘coughing up blood’ is called hemoptysis. This is regarded as being one of the most common signs of lung cancer. Unlike most symptoms, this is not indicative of the stage of cancer someone is experiencing as it can happen during the late and early stages of cancer. It’s also worth noting that coughing up blood doesn’t automatically mean you have cancer. In some cases it could be a sign that you may have bronchiectasis or bronchitis.
3. Shortness of breath
One of the most distressing symptoms of lung cancer is shortness of breath. This can cause you to experience difficulty when it comes to breathing. This is especially alarming if you experience this as you try to sleep. It can also make the individual feel as if their chest is tightening.
4. Chest pain
Lung cancer can lead to the development of pain in the shoulder, back and chest. The pain may persist even if the individual is not coughing. When it comes to determining if it may be cancer related, doctors usually ask if the pain is dull, sharp, intermittent or constant. Patients are also asked if the pain is centralized to the chest area, or if it rotates from the chest, back and to the shoulders. This discomfort can also lead to the development of enlarged lymph nodes around the chest walls and lining of the lungs.
5. Chronic cough
It’s common for people to cough for a day or two if they have some form of common respiratory infection. But, if the cough lasts for more than a week or two this could be a sign of lung cancer. It’s important to note that persistent coughing that doesn’t go away, or gets worse, should be addressed whether it’s a dry cough or one that leads to the production of mucus.
6. Loss of voice
If you or someone else notices that your voice suddenly became more raspier, deeper or hoarse you may need to see the doctor. While it may be true that hoarseness goes hand-in-hand with having the common cold, if it persists for more than 2 weeks, it could be indicative of someone more serious. Hoarseness is a symptom lung cancer patients experience when an underlying tumor starts to aggravate nerves that control the voice box.
7. Lack of appetite
A sudden drop in your weight by 10 pounds or more is commonly associated with cancer. Patients commonly experience this symptom, because the cancer cells use an abundance of energy as it multiplies.