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Dr. Juan Godinez highlights the various complications experienced by lung cancer patients

Decatur, TX – February 13, 2020 –When detected early, lung cancer can be treated. A patient should understand the symptoms in order to get diagnosed early. Lung cancer may cause complications to the lungs and other body parts, and the complications may occur over time as the disease develops and advances.

Lung cancer is often diagnosed late and may not show complications or symptoms until in later stages,” says Dr. Godinez. “The outlook of the disease will depend on various factors, including how far the cancer has spread.”

Here are the common complications from lung cancer:

  • Heart complications – Lung cancer can cause complications to the heart when it occurs near the major blood vessels. This makes the fluid press against the heart leading to general fatigue, headaches and dizziness, problems with vision and swelling in the face, chest, and neck.
  • Lung complications – Complications in the lungs due to lung cancer can cause problems such as bronchitis, pneumonia, back, shoulder and chest pain, coughing up phlegm or mucus, shortness of breath, coughing up blood and hoarse voice.
  • Pleural effusion – Pleural effusion occurs when fluid builds up in the membrane covering the lungs. When the fluid presses on the lungs, the patient will become breathless.
  • Neuropathy – Neuropathy causes tingling and numbness in the feet and hands because of damaged nerve tissue. It occurs when tumors grow near the nerves found in the shoulders or arms. The tumors will compress the nerves and cause weakness and pain. 
  • Blocking the food pipe or airways – A tumor that grows in the airway of the lung or food pipe will block it. This will cause issues like shortness of breath, pneumonia, and difficulty in swallowing food. Cancers that develop near the food pipe can make a person feel pain when swallowing food.

“Some other lung cancer complications occur when the disease spreads to other organs in the body,” says Dr. Godinez. “Good news is that treatments are available for all these complications. The treatment option will depend on your overall health, age, and the type of complication you have.”  

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