According to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, over one million people die of lung cancer each year, and lung cancer affects more people in the US than any other cancer. It is currently the most deadly cancer diagnosis, and more people die from lung cancer than pancreatic, prostate, and colon cancers combined. However, as with any cancer, lung cancer can be treated more effectively when it is caught early on.
To better your chances of survival, it is imperative that you watch out for the following lung cancer signs. If you are currently experiencing these symptoms, then make sure that your doctor is informed of them. Make sure that you are being assertive when describing any lung cancer signs you have noticed, and work with your doctor to ensure that you receive the proper diagnostic testing. Lung cancer that is caught in its early stages has more of a chance of being treated. Early detection of these symptoms may add years onto your life, so do not ignore them.
The American Cancer Society lists the following as possible early lung cancer signs:
- A nagging cough that worsens over time
- Expelling rust-colored phlegm when coughing
- Pain in the chest when breathing deeply
- Appetite loss and weight loss
- Recurrent infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis
People in later stages of lung cancer may experience:
- Bone pain
- Dizziness and/or seizures
- Swollen lymph nodes
Those with undiagnosed lung cancer may also experience groups of symptoms known as Horner syndrome. Horner syndrome involves symptoms that are specific to one side of the face. One side of the face may have a drooping eyelid or a pupil that is smaller than the other. One side of the face may sweat more as well. These symptoms are caused by Pancoast tumors that develop in the top part of the lungs. Because of their location, Pancoast tumors may cause severe shoulder pain as well.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention. An experienced doctor will look further into the symptoms and devise a treatment plan if testing uncovers a lung cancer diagnosis.