The implications of lung cancer are fatal and hence its seriousness cannot be undermined. Though steps cannot always be taken to prevent the disease, its symptoms can be understood and the paranoia reduced. A basic awareness of lung cancer symptoms can help us combat the disease.
The following are the frequently reported symptoms of lung cancer:
- The shortness of breath, which is more commonly known as dyspnea, is a symptom. Though excessive physical activity warrants dyspnea, it is also a lung cancer symptom.
- The coughing up of blood, which is medically known as hemoptysis, is an indication. It should not be confused with hematemesis, which denotes blood vomiting.
- An ache while coughing could be a warning. When there is an uncommon change in the pattern of coughing, lung cancer should be suspected.
- Weight loss, extreme exhaustion and a lack of desire for food, also called cachexia, can also be considered a symptom.
- Chest pain, which again is associated with heart disease and other medial causes, is a sign of lung cancer.
The following are the less common symptoms of lung cancer:
- Hoarseness in voice, medically termed as cachexia, is an indication the disease.
- A complication in swallowing, also known as dysphagia, is yet another sign. Though painful swallowing could also be classified under odynophagia, dysphagia should not be ruled out.
- Swelling of the face and the neck could be a sign of lung cancer. Where swelling in the neck arises due to bloated lymph nodes, the main blood vessel blockage from the head is the reason for facial swelling.
- Deformity in fingers and fingernails, also known as finger clubbing could be an uncommon lung cancer symptom.
- Apart from dyspnea, the shortness of breath could also be caused by pleural effusion. Pleural effusion is uncommon and denotes fluid around the lungs.
- Cancer that spreads itself at the upper lung is called pancoast tumor. This tumor could lead to a shoulder pain, pain in the bones, muscle weakness, weakening eyelids and a decrease in the sweating on a side of the face.
There are certain lung cancer symptoms, which are considered odd. These odd symptoms occur due to the unwelcome hormones brought about by lung cancer. These are:
- Protrusion of the eyes
- Numbness in the fingers, hands or legs
- Manifestation of lumps in the skin
- Changing sugar levels and an excruciating pain in the abdomen
- Swelling of breasts in men
- Manifestation of a lump in the tonsil or a salivary gland
It is important to look out for the common, uncommon as well as the rare symptoms of lung cancer. The doctors should be notified immediately so that they perform a diagnosis and clarify the underlying cause. Establishment of the cause, whether lung cancer or not, could hasten the treatment and lead to the betterment of the patients.