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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Alert! Don't Ignore These Signs of Lung Cancer

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Dr. Pushkal DwivediOncologist • 12 Years Exp.MD, ECMO
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Lung cancer may not always give out noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Most cases get diagnosed in later stages. It can happen to anybody irrespective of age or geographical location although smokers fall under high risk groups. Prevention and awareness can help. Check these lung cancer symptoms as early screening/diagnosis may help people fight the disease.

1) Unstopable Cough: Be cautious if your cough lingers. While a cough associated with a cold or respiratory infection will go away in a week or two, a persistent cough that lingers can be a possible sign of lung cancer. Don't dismiss a stubborn cough, whether it is dry or mucus-producing, as "just a cough." See your doctor right away.

2) Disrupted Chronic Cough: Pay attention to any changes in a chronic cough, esp. if you smoke. If you are coughing more often and it has gone deeper or hoarse, or you are coughing up blood or more mucus than usual, it’s time to make a doctor’s appointment.

3) Short breath: Shortness of breath or becoming easily winded is also a possible symptom of lung cancer. This symptom occurs if lung cancer blocks or narrows an airway, or if fluid from a lung tumor builds up in the chest. Keep a track of how quickly you go short on breath. Does it happen while taking stairs or doing routine jobs is a question to answer.

4) Wheezing: When air passages of the body become blocked, constricted, or inflamed, the lungs produce a wheezing or whistling sound as you breathe. While it can be due to other causes, wheezing is also a lung cancer symptom, which is why it demands your doctor’s attention. If wheezing continues, don’t assume it’s asthma or an allergy. Let your doctor find out what's causing it.

5) Chest Pain: Lung cancer may cause pain in the chest, shoulder, or back area. These aches may not be associated with coughing. Consult a doctor if you notice any type of chest pain, whether it is sharp, dull, constant, or twitching.

6) Hoarse Voice: If there is a noticeable change in your voice that stays for more than 2 weeks, or if someone else points out that your voice sounds hoarse or deeper, get it checked out by your doctor.

7) Loss of weight: A sudden and unexplained loss of weight can be associated with lung cancer or another type of cancer. Cancer cells use energy in the body. Do not ignore it.

8) Painful Bones: If it gets spread to the bones, lung cancer may produce pain in the back or in other areas of the body. This pain may get worsen at night while resting on the back. Notice your aches and pains, and discuss them with your doctor.

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