According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. For the roughly 220,000 people who received this diagnosis in 2015, finding this out was a terrifying experience. Because early diagnosis is so important with regard to recovering from this disease, it is important for people to be aware of possible symptoms. While there are several, the following is a summary of 3 signs of lung cancer.
Please keep in mind, many of those with lung cancer do not have noticeable symptoms. Also, having these signs does not mean that you have lung cancer. If you are experiencing them, however, you should see a doctor for professional diagnosis.
The 3 Signs of Lung Cancer
- The Cough You Can’t Get Rid Of
A cough that is the result of a cold or respiratory infection usually lasts for one to two weeks, but a cough that lasts for a long period of time may be a different story. If you are experiencing a chronic cough, and it is getting more consistent, deeper and more hoarse, this could be a lung cancer warning sign. Smokers should especially take heed to this symptom. Coughing up blood or a large amount of mucus also warrants immediate medical attention.
- Pain in Your Chest Area
Pain in your chest may be an indication of lung cancer. The pain may be dull or sharp, constant or occasional, but it is worthy of investigation. Pay attention to if it seems to be confined to one part of your chest, or if you are feeling the pain throughout that area.
Wheezing is a whistling sound that occurs when you breathe, and it happens when your lungs become blocked or inflamed. Oftentimes wheezing has to do with some minor health issue and is treated easily, but it can be linked to lung cancer. If you are wheezing, it could be associated with allergies or asthma, but you will not know unless you get confirmation from a doctor.
While the focus of this summary has been on 3 signs of lung cancer, there are other possible signs. It is quite unsettling, and downright scary, to face the prospect of having such a devastating disease, but the earlier you seek medical attention, the better your chances are at defeating it.