Unfortunately, most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread. However, some people with early lung cancer do have symptoms, making it possible to detect it earlier.
This is why it’s very important to visit your doctor when you first begin to notice symptoms. If you do have cancer, early detection and treatment of lung cancer at the beginning stages are more likely to be the most effective.
Before you read the following list of symptoms, it is worth noting that most of them are more likely to be caused by a problem other than lung cancer. However, it is still important to be vigilant with your own health and body. If you experience multiple of the following symptoms, or if some persist, be sure to see your primary care physician.
Here is a list of the most common symptoms of lung cancer.
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- A cough that does not go away (or worsens)
- Coughing up blood or even red or rust-colored phlegm
- Pain in your chest that worsens with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
- Weight loss and loss of appetite
- Infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia that don’t go away or keep coming back
- New onset of wheezing
Further health problems lung cancer can cause if spread to other organs.
- Bone pain, especially in the back or hips.
- Nervous system changes such as headache, dizziness, balance problems, seizures, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg. This could be from cancer spread to the brain or spinal cord.
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). This could be from cancer spread to the liver
- Lumps near the surface of the body, due to cancer spreading to the skin or to lymph nodes, particularly those in the neck or above the collarbone.
If you have any of these warning signs of lung cancer, please don’t panic. Unfortunately we all worry and stress. So it’s very common for a reader to overthink and convince themselves they have cancer after reading the symptoms. However, most times this is not the case.
But we here at UT Health East Texas HOPE Cancer Center want you to be certain you are healthy. Please see your doctor if you experience these symptoms and warning signs of lung cancer.