Lung Cancer Symptoms: Lung cancer can go undetected for a long time, particularly in its early stages. As a result, it could be detected first on X-rays, CT scans, or other types of tests that are being performed to check on another disease. The following non-small cell and small cell lung cancer signs and symptoms may be caused by a number of other factors and are not unique to lung cancer. If you have any questions, always talk to your doctor.
A cough that gets worse or does not go away
Coughing up blood
Breathing trouble, such as shortness of breath
New wheezing when you breathe
Ache or pain in your chest, upper back, or shoulder that doesn’t go away and may get worse with deep breathing
A hoarse voice
Frequent respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis
General physical symptoms
- Feeling unusually tired all the time
- Weight loss with no known cause and loss of appetite
- Trouble swallowing
- Swelling in the face and/or veins in the neck
Lung cancer that spreads may cause other symptoms, like pain in the back or other bones or weakness in the arms or legs. It can cause headaches, seizures, dizziness, memory loss, and speech disturbances if it spreads to the brain.
Since small cell lung cancer tumors secrete hormones, patients with small cell lung cancer may experience unusual symptoms. Paraneoplastic syndromes are the names assigned to these symptoms. SIADH, or condition of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion, is an example of this, when the body absorbs fluid, resulting in low blood sodium levels.
There may be no symptoms in the early stages of the disease, and most lung cancers do not cause symptoms until they have spread, but some people with early lung cancer do experience symptoms.
Click here to learn about "Advanced Lung Cancer Symptoms"
Reference- 1. Lung Cancer Symptoms | American Lung Association. (2019). Lung.org; https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer/symptoms
2. Signs & Symptoms. (2014, July 7). LUNGevity Foundation. https://lungevity.org/for-patients-caregivers/lung-cancer-101/signs-symptoms