Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until the disease has advanced. However, some people do have early lung cancer symptoms. If you visit your doctor when you notice these early symptoms, your cancer can be diagnosed at an earlier stage, when the treatment is more likely to be effective. The most common symptoms of lung cancer are:
1. A lingering cough
The majority of people with lung cancer have a cough, sometimes with blood. If you have a dry cough, and it lasts for over a month, you'd better get it checked out.
2. Chronic infections
Most of the time, viruses are to blame for lung infections like chronic bronchitis. However, if you are getting sick repeatedly, and the sickness seems to go straight to your chest, it could be an early sign of cancer.
3. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is common for people with lung cancer. You may feel like you can't get enough air into your lungs and It can be a scary sensation. It's important to tell your doctor if you are having difficulty breathing.
4. Weight loss
A more advanced tumor may make proteins that tell your body to lose weight. If you are dropping pounds without a change in your diet or workout, you'd better go to the doctor.
5. Bone pain
If the cancer has spread to other organs in your body, you may feel an ache deep down in your bones or joints. The back and hips are common sore spots.
6. Swelling in your neck and face
If a lung tumor begins pressing against your vena cava, you may notice swelling in your neck and face. Your arms and upper chest can also be affected.
7. Overwhelming fatigue
80% of people with cancer note "excessive tiredness" as a sign. But It is different than feeling tired. It is a feeling so worn out that you can't wait to climb into bed.
8. Muscle weakness
Lung cancer affects your muscles as well as other organs. One of the first areas to be impacted is your hips. You may find it hard to even get out of a chair. Weakness can also be in the shoulders, arms, legs.
9. High calcium levels
Some lung cancers make hormone-like substances that upset the balance of minerals in your body. In some instances, excess calcium gets released into the bloodstream and this can cause: frequent urination, constipation, excessive thirst, belly pain and dizziness. If you notice any number of these symptoms, you need to visit your doctor.
How Common is Lung Cancer?
Lung cancer is one of the most common causes of death throughout the world. Statistics from the American Cancer Society estimated that there will be about 244,000 new cases of lung cancer in the United States and about 154000 death were due to the disease.
Lung cancer is predominantly found in older people; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age.
What are the causes and risk factors for lung cancer?
Research has shown that the chief cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoking. It is said that around 90% of lung cancers can be attributed to tobacco use.
Passive smoking is also an established risk factor for the development of lung cancer. It is said that a nonsmoker who resides with a smoker has a 24% increase in their risk of developing lung cancer. It is estimated that more than 7,000 lung cancer deaths occur each year in the United States that are attributable to passive smoking.