It is vital to know about the symptoms and signs of lung cancer so that it can be diagnosed at an early stage and proper treatment and precautions can be followed thereon. The symptoms of lung cancer vary depending upon where and how widespread the tumor is. The warning signs are not easy to identify and may not be always present. Some of the common symptoms found in lung cancer patients include:
There are many lung cancer patients who have discovered their cancer in a routine chest X-ray or CT scan. The patients with small, single masses often do not face any symptoms at the time the cancer is discovered.
Lung Cancer victims may have a new cough starting out as bronchitis or start spitting up blood mixed in with the phlegm. The growth of cancer and invasion of lung tissues cause a problem in breathing, leading to symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing up blood, chest pain and wheezing. Their voice may become hoarse and they face symptoms while wheezing and breathing difficulties.
Pain in chest, shoulder or arm:
Lung cancer starts in the bronchi and venture further down into the lungs and cause chest pain. The pain can travel to other areas of the body as well such as shoulder, back or arm. Patients with lung cancer have some chest or shoulder pain at the time of diagnosis and the pain increases while coughing and breathing.
Shortness of breath:
Shortness of breath usually occurs as a result of the blockage to the flow of air in lung. It can be due to collection of fluid around the lung. When someone experiences shortness of breath, it is vital to get proper and timely diagnosis.
Repeated respiratory infection:
Repeated respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia are also common signs of lung cancer. If a tumor is located near airway, it causes obstruction that leads to these infections. These infections could be due to persistent smoking but could also be an early sign of lung cancer.
There have been several non-specific symptoms associated with lung cancer patients. These include weight loss, weakness and fatigue. A general decline in health is also a symptom of lung cancer. Knee pain is another seemingly unrelated symptom. Psychological symptoms such as depression and mood changes are also common.