Some people endure the early stages of lung cancer without experiencing any noticeable symptoms at all. Many symptoms of lung cancer are also symptoms of other less severe ailments, but especially if you exhibit risk factors for lung cancer, you should still bring these concerns to your doctor.
Learn 10 common lung cancer symptoms so that you will know what to watch out for.
1) Hoarse Throat/Voice
If you’re experiencing an extended period of hoarseness, and it doesn’t seem to be related to a cold or other illness, it could be a sign of lung cancer.
2) Shortness of Breath
Difficulty catching your breath after physical activity—or especially if it is light physical activity—can be a symptom of lung problems, including cancer.
A cough that continues for a long time, especially one that gets worse, could be cause for concern. Smokers and people with other lung conditions may have a chronic cough, but let your doctor know about this and any changes that occur with your cough.
4) Chest Pain
Chest pain accompanying a cough (or by itself) may point to lung cancer or other respiratory problems.
5) Bloody Mucus
If you’re coughing up blood, you should consult your doctor. This is a symptom that could be indicative of a few more serious problems, especially if it persists and isn’t simply a nosebleed or dry nasal passage.
6) Unusual Exhaustion
Continuous fatigue can be a symptom of cancer, but can also be caused by things as simple as nutritional problems, lack of exercise or insufficient sleep. Still, if it is interfering with your daily life and/or is accompanied by other symptoms, mention it to your physician.
7) Loss of Appetite/Weight Loss
If you cannot explain recent weight loss, or have been hungry less frequently than is normal for you, you might be experiencing a sign of lung cancer.
8) Inexplicable Fever
A fever unaccompanied by other traditional signs of cold or flu may be related to lung cancer.
9) Frequent Lung Infections, Bronchitis or Pneumonia
These respiratory ailments may occur in anyone on occasion, but if they have become common or more recurrent than is typical for you, you should express this concern to a medical professional.
Lowered red blood cell counts may occur in lung cancer patients. Anemia results in related symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, pallor, chest pain, dizziness, impaired cognitive function, cold extremities and headache. Note that some of these signs are consistent with other symptoms of lung cancer, so consult your doctor before drawing any conclusions yourself.
If you or a loved one is exhibiting several of these symptoms, or even one severe symptom, don’t panic—remember that self-diagnosis is impossible for lung cancer. You’ll simply need to raise these concerns with your physician and have them evaluate you before any conclusions are drawn.