There are two main types of lung cancer; small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Of these two types, SCLC represents around 20%. It is often nicknamed oat cell carcinoma due to the oat like appearance of the small cells of the lungs. SCLC develops when these small cells start to grow in a rapid and uncontrollable way and eventually become malignant (cancerous). Since this cancer affects the lungs this is the area where most of the symptoms manifest. In this article I will be discussing three of the most common small cell lung cancer symptoms.
1) A PERSISTENT COUGH:- If you notice you have a cough that does not seem to go away it could be a sign of SCLC. A lot of coughs will have no other symptoms than a dry, hoarse, itchy feeling in the throat. However, some coughs result in phlegm and blood coming up. Other coughs can even cause pain. You should inform your doctor if you notice any type of persistent cough and if any phlegm or blood comes up you should inform them right away. The cough may be down to something much less serious but it may also be an early warning sign of SCLC. Your doctor will be able to perform a number of tests and give you a professional diagnosis.
2) BREATHLESSNESS:- Feeling breathless for no apparent reason is another potential small cell lung cancer symptom. This can often lead to you feeling tired and lacking in energy whilst performing every day tasks such as walking down the street. Regardless of whether the breathlessness comes on gradually or suddenly it should be treated with suspicion. If you notice yourself becoming short of breath for no logical reason go see your doctor and explain your concerns. They will then be able to identify the cause of the breathlessness and determine if it is linked to SCLC.
3) CHEST PAIN:- Chest pain is a very serious symptom which is linked with a number of conditions including SCLC. The chest pain may be caused by coughing or deep breathing. However, you may also experience constant or spontaneous chest pain. Any type of chest pain should be treated with extreme caution and you should go see your doctor right away. They will then be able to perform a number of tests to identify the cause.
Many of the symptoms of small cell lung cancer are linked to the chest. Although the above symptoms are not exclusive to SCLC, they do usually act as early warning signs. If you notice any of the symptoms discussed above you should inform your doctor right away. They will be able to investigate any suspicious coughs or spontaneous chest pains and determine if they are linked to SCLC. This type of cancer is much more treatable in the early stages so it makes sense to act on any potential symptoms early and go see your doctor.
Whilst every intention has been made to make this article accurate and informative, it is intended for general information only. Small cell lung cancer is a very serious, life threatening condition and you should discuss any concerns, treatments or lifestyle changes fully with your doctor.
Tom Parker owns and operates a number of useful fitness resources and websites. You can learn more about small cell lung cancer and how improving your fitness can help prevent cancer by visiting his Free Fitness Tips Blog.