Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women.
In fact, the American Cancer Society states that more people die of lung cancer each year than they do of prostate cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer combined— and surprisingly, a good 20% of those diagnosed are people who’ve never smoked at all! Unfortunately, anyone can be diagnosed with lung cancer whether you’re young or old, a smoker or non-smoker.
It’s important to know what to look out for when it comes to lung cancer signs and symptoms.
Lung cancer symptoms don’t always manifest themselves until the cancer has become more advanced. With that said, there are times early symptoms are noticeable. Early symptoms of lung cancer may include a slight cough or shortness of breath that typically becomes more severe as the cancer progresses. As with most other cancers, lung cancer treatment is likely to be more successful the earlier the cancer diagnosis. Because of that, we recommend you contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these lung cancer symptoms:
- Unexplained hoarseness
- Difficulty breathing
- A lingering cough not associated with a cold
- New onset of wheezing
- Coughing up blood or coughing up spit or phlegm tainted with blood
- Weight loss and loss of appetite not due to lifestyle changes
- Constant chest pain that worsens with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- Fatigue and/or weakness
- Recurring (chronic) infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia
As lung cancer advances and spreads to other areas of the body, symptoms often change. Some advanced lung cancer symptoms may include:
- Bone pain
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Lumps in the neck and/or collarbone region
- A headache, dizziness, or weakness in the arms or legs
If you notice one or more of these signs or symptoms, or anything unusual, it is important to see your doctor immediately so the cause can be found and treated, if needed.