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10 Common Warning Signs of Lung Cancer

 Lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, claiming the lives of more than a million people every year. Despite these worrying numbers, lung cancer is not necessarily a death sentence if you catch it early enough. The problem is that most people aren’t aware of the early symptoms, which could potentially save lives. In this guide, we will review the ten most common early symptoms of lung cancer, that everyone should know.


lung cancer

1. Chronic Cough

If you’re coughing so often that you’re now hoarse, and the coughing still won’t stop, it may be a warning sign. Many of us will associate the coughing initially with a recent cold or seasonal allergies, but if your cough has been going on for eight or more weeks, consult with your physician. Patients report the cough worsens at night, making it harder to sleep. So, if this is the case with you it could be an early indicator.

2. Quick, Unexplained Weight Loss

Western society tends to celebrate weight loss, which is the result of the high obesity rates and the subsequent heart diseases they entail. As nice as it may be to shed those extra pounds, if you’re not actively trying to lose weight (either by exercising or by dieting), yet it seems to be dropping nonetheless, you may want to contact your doctor. The cause of this unexpected weight loss is that your body knows that there is a tumor growing inside, and it is burning all of its energy reserves trying to fight it.

lung cancer

3. Labored Breathing

Suffering from shortness of breath or wheezing isn’t necessarily an indicator of lung cancer, so most people will not associate these symptoms with this disease. However, if these symptoms appear all of a sudden, even during activities that you used to do with ease, it may serve as a warning sign. It is advisable to get checked by your physician, particularly if you have a history of lung cancer in your family, or if you are a smoker.

4. Pains in Your Hands and Fingers

If you’re feeling tired and your fingers are hurting, it can be an early warning sign of cancer. If the skin on your palms is getting thick, and you notice the appearance of white or pale folds, you might be experiencing a condition called “tripe palm”, placing you within a high-risk group for cancer.

lung cancer

5. Chest Pains

If you’re experiencing pain while laughing, coughing, or lifting something, it might very well be a significant warning sign, particularly if the pain is persistent. The pain is caused by tumors that are growing inside your lungs, pressing against the surrounding tissues. In addition, lung cancer tends to spread to the bones. So if your chest pains are accompanied by bone pains (especially in the back or hips), contact your physician immediately!

6. Unexplained Mood Swings

Sudden, unexplained irritability is often a sign of cancer, but most patients and doctors don’t make the connection right away. If you’re experiencing sudden bouts of irritability or anger, followed by depression or exhaustion that is accompanied by other symptoms on this list - you ought to make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible.

lung cancer

7. Blood in Your Phlegm

If you notice blood in your phlegm, it is never a good sign, and even just small spots can spell trouble. While bloody phlegm doesn’t automatically indicate lung cancer, it’s still a warning sign, so don’t wait to have it looked at, particularly if you’re coughing up large amounts of blood, or the bleeding doesn’t stop.

8. Irregularities in Breast Tissues

Men suffering from lung cancer can experience development of breasts, as the cancer forces the body to release hormones it wouldn’t normally secrete. Change in the breasts will take place over a period of a few weeks to a few months. Do not ignore such changes and make it a priority to consult with your family doctor.

lung cancer

9. Pain in the Shoulders

You may think it’s irrelevant, but chronic shoulder pain can sometimes be the result of a tumor that is pressuring the nerves in the armpit, leading to tingling sensations, aches, and shooting pains from the shoulder and down the arms. This sign is more common in later stages of the cancer, when the tumor is already very large. You may also feel pain in the ribs near the armpit, swelling of the lymph nodes and face, and general aches in your body.

10. Repeated Infections

If you’re suffering from recurring infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, in addition to other infections, particularly of the airways, know that it is closely associated with lung cancer. These chronic infections are caused by the body’s immune system being weakened from battling tumors.



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