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Early Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer leads the chart as a leading cause of cancer deaths across the world. The disease often develops in people who smoke. Most patients with the disease do not experience any symptoms until later when it has spread to other body parts.

Some early symptoms for lung cancer may come from other health conditions like smoking and other factors. They include;

  • Back, shoulder, or chest pain– Lungs have few nerve endings, and that is why patients with lung cancer don’t feel any early-stage symptoms.

When the disease has metastasized to areas like the vertebrae, chest wall, ribs, and some nerves, that is when the patient will feel some pain. Pancoast tumors that form at the top of the lungs cause shoulder pain since they invade surrounding tissues.

As the tumor grows, the patient will feel pain in the chest, arms, back, and a hoarse voice as well. This is because the tumor begins to press on the laryngeal nerve, paralyzing the vocal code.

  • Unexplained weight loss – Sudden weight loss can be a sign of the presence of lung cancer. Weight loss from cancer can be due to changes to the body’s hormones, immune function, and metabolism, shortness of breath and wheezing, loss of appetite, and difficulty in swallowing food.
  • Persistent cough – A cough that doesn’t go away can be a sign of lung cancer in its early stages. The cough may also produce blood. Regularly coughing can also indicate a different lung condition.
  • Fatigue – Lung cancer can cause a reduction in red blood cells, making you anemic. The red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to the body, and being anemic can cause severe fatigue, tiredness, and difficulty in carrying out everyday activities.

If you experience such symptoms, you should visit the doctor immediately to confirm whether it is lung cancer or some other condition.

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