Common Early Signs That You May Have Lung Cancer
Warning signs of lung cancer may be more apparent in some sufferers than in others, depending on the type of cancer, and the stage that it has reached within the body. Lung cancer may show either moderate signs of being present, or may even show no signs at all. Most people when diagnosed with lung cancer, are usually in the later stages of the disease, which can be attributed to either the early warning signs being put down to other illnesses, or by being simply overlooked all together.
Common Early Warning Signs of Lung Cancer
1. A persistent cough, also called a smoker’s cough, that is usually attributed to heavy smokers. It usually starts first thing in the morning when a considerable amount of phlegm (a sticky liquid secreted by the mucus membranes) can be found in the throat. To clear the phlegm, it may be necessary to cough repeatedly, as phlegm acts as an irritant within the area of the throat. Persistent coughs may also affect those who have been exposed to throat, nasal, or lung irritants over a period of many years.
2. Coughing up small amounts of blood, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest pains, are also signs that lung cancer may be present within the body. Although often attributed to ageing, being a little out of trim, or slightly overweight, these conditions are usually caused by the growth of cancer cells within the lung, and their invasion into the surrounding tissues. These conditions should always be checked by a doctor, especially if they persist.
3. A dull aching pain in the shoulder that may move down the outside of the arm, is another warning sign that often gets over-looked. The pain may often get put down to something else, such as, the after effects of playing football, doing exercise, or even working excessively. But this type of shoulder pain is also a warning sign that lung cancer may be developing. The pain is often caused when cancer cells have invaded the nervous system, which may also attribute to a dull pain in the back.
4. A notable weight loss when eating normally should be another cause for concern. The weight loss may also be accompanied by continued and excessive fatigue even after a good nights sleep, together with depression and mood swing changes. These signs are often associated with lung cancer, and are usually categorized as being nonspecific as they are easily attributed to other causes.
5. Recurrent chest infections or pneumonia are often warning signs that the airways from the lungs may be obstructed, causing small abscesses (cells) to grow on the inside of the obstructed tubes, which overtime may grow into malignant tumours. The obstruction of the airways is usually caused when a portion of the lung has either partially or completely collapsed due to the cancer spreading.
Important: If any of these warning signs are apparent, an appointment should be made to see a doctor. If after consultations with the doctor, he is still unable to reassure as to the reasons for the existence of these conditions, then it is advisable that a second or even third opinion be sought.