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7 Early Symptoms Of Lung Cancer That You Are Most Likely To Ignore

7 Early Symptoms Of Lung Cancer That You Are Most Likely To Ignore

Most people affected by lung cancer do not notice the various symptoms displayed by the body. This increases the risk of death as it is diagnosed only after the disease has spread to other parts of the body.

Our changing lifestyles have contributed to various health issues. A very common and prevalent illness is lung cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the second most common cancer observed in both men and women alike. It is also the leading cause of deaths in people compared to any other cancer.

According to Mayo Clinic, the two spongy organs present in the chest that help you inhale and exhale called the lungs are affected by this cancer. Most people diagnosed with cancer are 65 years and above, a very small number of people fall under the age of 45. However, the average age of a person at the time of diagnosis is about 70 years. According to a study by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, people who have a smoking history are at a higher risk. 

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The most concerning part about this disease is that the symptoms are not noticeable until it advances to a complex stage. According to a study, about 40 percent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed only at the advanced stages of the disease. Therefore most people are not diagnosed early enough to save their lives.

Here are a few symptoms that will allow you to detect the disease at the earliest and get the necessary treatments.

1. Hoarse voice

A sudden change in the way you sound can be a sign of lung cancer. Though hoarseness can be caused by a simple cold, you will have to get it checked if it stays for too long. Don't hold yourself back from talking to the doctor if your sound remains the same for more than two weeks. According to Healthline, a change of voice and hoarseness is usually observed in lung cancer patients when the tumor starts to affect the voice box.

2. Pain in the chest area

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Pain in several parts of the body such as chest, shoulders and the back is quite common in lung cancer. It is important to consult a doctor and inform him if you experience any kind of chest pain. You should also note if the pain is confined to a particular area or if it is occurring throughout the chest area. Chest pain caused by lung cancer is generally due to the enlarged lymph nodes or metastasis to the chest wall, the ribs or the lining around the lungs called pleura.

3. Continuous and chronic cough

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Coughs are usually associated with the common cold and other respiratory infections. However, if you notice a persistent cough that lingers around for more than two weeks then make sure to consult a doctor. Special attention should be paid to chronic cough if you have a smoking habit. If your cough sound has become deeper with unusual amounts of blood or mucus, don't wait to get help. An X-ray of the chest and other tests will determine the kind of problem you are suffering from.

4. Bone pain

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Bone pain is usually caused by lung cancer patients when cancer has spread to the bones. According to Verywell health, about 30-40 percent of people with advanced lung cancer is affected by it. It usually causes pain and discomfort to the body. The pain is known to worsen at night especially while resting on the back. It will also increase with movement. Added to bone ache, lung cancers are also associated with shoulder, arm, or neck pain. However, it is not as common as a bone ache.

5. Weight loss

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Weight loss is closely associated with any time of cancer. Lung cancer patients in particular often experience loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss, according to Lung Cancer. Loss of appetite known as anorexia and weakness and malnutrition known as cachexia is responsible for the cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome in lung cancer patients.  As per data, almost 60 percent of patients have already lost a substantial amount of weight. Therefore, unexplained loss of weight should be given attention.

6. Breathing changes

Breathing troubles are usually caused when lung cancer narrows and blocks the airway. It may also be caused if the fluid from the tumor builds up in the chest area. Lung cancer patients, therefore, suffer from shortness of breath. The most important thing is to notice when you experience breathing troubles. If you find it difficult to perform the activities you once did with ease, don't ignore it.

7. Headache 

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Headaches usually occur in lung cancer patients when cancer has spread to the brain. The pressure created by the lung tumor on the large vein responsible for transporting blood from the upper body to the heart triggers this pain in the head. It may trigger minor headaches or even migraines. However, not all headaches and migraines are associated with lung cancer. 

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/lung-cancer/early-signs#risk-factors
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256525/
https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/lung-cancer-screening
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lung-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20374620
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-small-cell-lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
https://www.webmd.com/lung-cancer/ss/slideshow-lung-cancer-surprising-signs
https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer/symptoms/
https://www.verywellhealth.com/lung-cancer-with-bone-metastases-2249357
https://lungcancer.net/symptoms/appetite-weight-loss/

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.