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Symptoms of Lung Cancer

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
 
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If you experience any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to cancer. Most of these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.

Initial Symptoms

Initial symptoms of lung cancer may be subtle and come on gradually. Therefore, patients may attribute the symptoms to smoking (since most people who develop lung cancer are smokers). Symptoms occur due to tumor growth within the lung and the tumor putting pressure on airways or nearby structures.

Symptoms of lung cancer include the following:

  • Persistent and worsening cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Frequent pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Arm pain or swelling

Later Symptoms

As the disease progresses and cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, new symptoms may develop. These include the following:

  • Swelling of the neck and face
  • Appetite loss and nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • New back or bone pain
  • Inability to control the bladder or bowel
  • Seizure activity, weakness, numbness, or headache

Sources:

American Cancer Society

American Lung Association

Bast R. Cancer Medicine e5 . Hamilton, Ontario: B.C. Decker Inc.; 2000.

National Cancer Institute



Last reviewed February 2003 by Jondavid Pollock, MD, PhD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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