How to spot the early signs of lung cancer?

Potts Disease_coughing

Last Updated October 11th, 2019

What is lung cancer and how is it caused?

It is difficult to predict if a person has lung cancer or not since it is often asymptomatic, or invisible.  It becomes clear only when it has become more advanced.  There are some minute indicators available, but one could realize this to be related to the condition.  Early diagnosis is the only way a person could be treated appropriately.

It becomes very difficult to treat lung cancer that is diagnosed at a later stage.  Symptoms of lung cancer in men generally differ from symptoms of lung cancer in women.   Regardless of sex, many people generally are not aware of the most common symptoms of lung cancer.  It is not necessary for a person to be a smoker to be diagnosed with lung cancer and in fact, the majority of people who are diagnosed with lung cancer do not smoke.

Studies have indicated that lung cancer is treatable when it is in the early stages, but unfortunately, people are diagnosed with it only in advanced stages.  It is important to become familiar with the symptoms of lung cancer in the first place.  In fact, it would take a lot of courage to learn if you are a candidate for lung cancer.

Facts on lung cancer

  • Lung cancer accounts for 1.56 million deaths every year worldwide.
  • The risk of developing lung cancer in the United States stands at 8% for men and 6% for women.
  • It has been found that military veterans have a higher risk due to chronic smoking.
  • Lung cancer is considered the most common cause of cancer-related deaths.
  • Majority of lung cancer cases are from Europe, North America, and East Asia.

Signs and symptoms of early lung cancer

Lung cancer symptoms can be divided into various categories.  Some of the categories are discussed below:

Persistent cough followed by coughing up blood

Potts Disease_coughingA new chronic cough, which does not subside, can be signs of cancer development.  This cough may further develop into coughing up blood or mucus that is rust colored.  These symptoms should be immediately reported to your doctor.  These symptoms cannot be misunderstood for flu, as cough associated with the flu does not make you cough up blood.  Any cough associated with blood is considered to be a red flag, so never avoid it.  The symptoms related to cough may be followed by hoarseness, which again can be considered a red flag.

Breathing difficulties

This symptom seems to be the second most common symptom associated with lung cancer.  Any shortness of breath associated with regular activities should not be taken lightly.  An underlying reason for this is definitely present.  Shortness of breath may also be related to heart problems due to a blocked artery.  Similarly, shortness of breath associated with wheezing may be an early symptom of lung cancer.

Weight changes

Losing weight rapidly without trying to lose it may be related to your body that is under danger.  Any significant weight loss in excess of 10-15 pounds should be discussed with your doctor immediately to find the underlying cause, as it may be related to an early sign of cancer.

Chest pain

Experiencing chest pain suddenly without any exertion or strain may be an indication of the underlying disease.  People suffering from heart problems too can experience sudden and sharp chest pain due to the blockage of an artery.  Pain in the chest associated with pain in shoulders or back may be an indication of lung cancer into advanced stages, as it tries to spread to other parts of the body.

Ultimately, it is not easy to predict the early signs of lung cancer.  It is better to fix an appointment with your doctor and get a lung cancer screening done.  People having family members with any type of cancer should make it a point to get screened for cancer.

Advanced lung cancer symptoms

Lung cancer in advanced stages generally spread to other parts of the body.  It generally affects the bones, brain, as well as liver.  Once lung cancer starts spreading to different parts of the body, there is a new set of symptoms emanating from them including:

  • Continuous pain in the bones.
  • Noticeable swelling of the face, neck, and arms.
  • May cause headache associated with dizziness.
  • Causes numbness and weakness in the limbs
  • May cause jaundice once it affects the liver.
  • Raised lumps may surface on the neck.

Non-small cell lung cancer symptoms

This type of cancer spreads slowly over a period of time before the symptoms surface.

  • Coughing that may be persistent without any known cause.
  • The cough may often be associated with blood-tinged sputum.
  • Pain with breathing may occur
  • Shortness of breath even without exertion.
  • Feeling extremely weak or tired.
  • Wheezing associated with hoarseness.
  • Regular bronchitis or pneumonia infections.
  • Persistent bone pain.

Non-small cell lung cancer symptoms may lead to other symptoms as discussed below.

Affects the brain

Parkinson’s disease brainNon-small cell lung cancer is known to spread to the brain.  Once cancer spreads to the brain, it causes severe headaches associated with seizures.  The neurological function may largely be affected if the tumor presses against any nerve fibers.

Causes raised lumps

The cancer spreads to the neck and other parts of the body affecting the lymph nodes.  These lymph nodes become inflamed and raised lumps may appear on the neck.

May lead to Horner syndrome

This syndrome is associated with the constricted pupil and associated with drooping of the upper eyelid.  This phenomenon is caused due to nerve damage.  In the case of lung cancer, it spreads to other parts of the body causing disruption to the nerve pathways, and this possibly causes nerve damage.  Horner syndrome does not have treatment unless the underlying cause is rectified.

Causes paraneoplastic syndrome

There are certain chemicals that are released due to the reactions of cancer cells.  This chemicals cause numerous health-related issues that are called paraneoplastic syndrome.  Some of the paraneoplastic syndromes includes SIADH, Lambert-Eaton syndrome. The related medical condition associated with them includes muscle cramps, hypercalcemia, etc.

Small cell lung cancer symptoms

This type of lung cancer is generally not diagnosed until it is developed into an advanced stage.  Some of the early signs and symptoms of small cell lung cancer are discussed below.  The symptoms continue to evolve over a period of time and affect other organs.

  • Continuous cough.
  • Severe chest pain, which can be felt with each time you breathe in or out.
  • Hoarseness
  • Weight loss associated with loss of appetite.
  • May lead to rust-colored sputum production.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Regularly affected by bronchitis and pneumonia infections.
  • Persistent wheezing.

Symptoms of advanced-stage small cell lung cancer

  • Persistent musculoskeletal pain.
  • Causes headaches associated with dizziness.
  • Numbness and weakness may arise in limbs.
  • Jaundice occurs when the liver is affected.
  • Lymph nodes become inflamed causing lumps in the neck.

Metastatic lung cancer symptoms

This type of cancer depends on the part of the body to which it has affected.  The intensity, size, as well as the location of the metastasis, may vary the symptoms.  These symptoms generally occur only at a later time when the cancer is in advanced stages.

  • When cancer has affected the bones, it causes persistent musculoskeletal pain that often targets the vertebrae or ribs. Calcium deposition becomes high causing constipation.
  • When the liver is affected, symptoms of jaundice occur. Some of the symptoms associated with it include nausea, extreme tiredness, discoloration of the skin to yellow, as well as swelling of the hands and feet.
  • Cancer may also affect the brain and spinal cord leading to neurological symptoms. Persistent headache, dizziness, vision difficulties, as well as seizures can be accompanied.

How Is Lung Cancer Diagnosed?

The cancer diagnosis generally differs from person to person.  There are several factors a doctor would consider before diagnosing cancer.  Some of the factors include medical history, symptoms, physical examination findings, etc.  Some of the standard and tests and procedures would follow after this and include:

Imaging Tests

A series of imaging will be ordered by your doctor to confirm the diagnosis of lung cancer.  These imaging tests are particularly important to look inside your body.  The pictures obtained from the imaging tests may lead to a diagnosis of cancer.  Imaging tests are useful in many ways.  It is used to confirm the diagnosis, see if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, etc.  Some of the commonly used imaging tests include:

  • CT scan (computed tomography).
  • PET scan (positron emission tomography).
  • Bone scan.

Procedures

There are various procedures conducted inside the body to confirm the diagnosis.  The tissue and fluid culture are studied to understand the intensity of the cancer cells.  The procedure of removing the tissue and fluid from the body required for testing is performed in various aspects and include:

  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA)
  • Endoscopic esophageal ultrasound (EUS)
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Thoracoscopy or video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS)
  • Endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Mediastinoscopy and mediastinotomy
  • Thoracentesis
  • Sputum cytology

Staging

Staging of the cancer is conducted once the diagnosis of cancer is confirmed by imaging as well as a procedural biopsy.  Staging of the cancer is very important to find out how much cancer has affected your body and how much it has spread.  It would determine the treatment plan as well as the prognosis.  Based on the staging, your doctor will decide treatment modes include surgery, chemotherapy, as well as radiation therapy.

Tumor Testing

Testing the tumor seems to be the next task after staging.  The cancerous tumor is generally tested for DNA changes.  It determines mutations in the tumor’s DNA.  It is also called biomarker testing or genomic testing.  This test looks for specific proteins that help the cancer cells to multiply rapidly.  When these proteins are identified, it makes it easier to target the mutations and avoid the process of cancer cell multiplication.

Who are at risk?

It is important to understand the causes of lung cancer and determine if you are at risk.  Some of the factors contributing to high risk include:

  • If you are a current smoker and have a 30-pack-year smoking history.
  • If you are aged between 55 and 80 years.
  • If you have smoked within the past 15 years even if not presently smoking.

Final thoughts

The above-mentioned symptoms are only a few possible signs of lung cancer.  The above-mentioned symptoms may or may not occur during the early stages of lung cancer.  If anyone has signs or symptoms that seem unfamiliar, they need to make an appointment to consult the doctor at the earliest.

Generally, the majority of people diagnosed with lung cancer are either current smokers or who have smoked in the past.  There is also an alarming number of diagnoses made with people who have never smoked in their life.  You need to understand that even if you have lived with a person who has continuously smoked might have put you at risk of developing this disease.  It should also be noted that around 20% of the people diagnosed with lung cancer are non-smokers and have had secondary smoke exposure.

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

 

 

Trending Topics

diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin.…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try…
diabetes symptoms in women
FBS Test – Fasting Blood Sugar FBS or fasting blood sugar test is a blood test that is used to determine…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen…
magnesium test
Magnesium Test The magnesium test is a blood test that is generally prsecribed when an individual starts…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help…
Amaranth: Why is this native Peruvian grain called the “crop of the future”? Full of healthy high proteins and gluten-free, the grain, Amaranth, the tasty and ancient pseudo…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
Green, brown, & bitter: The instant advantages of including fenugreek in your diet Did you know the earliest usage of fenugreek can be traced back to the Egyptian…
Coconut oil woman
Coconut Oil: How one oil dominates the kitchen and the medicine kit too Coconut oil has been a favorite in many Asian kitchens. But more than a cooking…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in…
ketoacidosis diabetes
HB1Ac Test HB1Ac test is an important blood test that is used to measure the levels of…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
cold flu sinus treatment
How to beat the common cold, flu, and sinus infection instantly? Can you guess some of the easiest tricks to treat cold and sinus infections? How…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket The dragon fruit is packed with nutrients and yet low on calories and is the…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential…
Dates: The complete list of instant health benefits this dry fruit can bestow Why you should regularly go for dates? Because, these small bulbs of healthy goodness are…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be.…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
Horny Goat Weed: Can it improve libido in human beings too? This plant got its name as Horny Goat Weed when one of the goats feeding…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
almonds healthy
9 reasons why almonds should be consumed daily Almonds are filled with nutrients and energy and are used since ancient times.  The bitter…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is…
What to eat, what not to eat in the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet is one among the most popular weight loss programs that have…
Latest findings on Kombucha; a teacup full of yeast and bacteria How can a tea consisting of a live culture of bacteria & fungi be healthy?…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin…
Top Natural Repellents for Mosquitoes with negligible side-effects What are the best ways to keep mosquitos away from you? Try these natural and…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of…
Helicobacter pylori IGA
Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA…
folate test
Folate test The Folate test is used to measure and monitor the levels of folic acid in…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
lose pregnancy weight
5 most effective ways you can lose those pregnancy pounds! Are you looking for ways to get back into shape? Scared of crash diets? Don't…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
Dunning kruger effect
Medical Mythbusters : How many of these myths did you think were true? Do vaccines cause autism? Does sugar really make kids hyperactive? Don't fall prey to these…
essential amino acids
Amino acids: Building blocks of life for better mood and sex drive! Find out why amino acids are often called as the building blocks of life. And…
CBD oil safe
Cannabidiol benefits: Evaluating the “highs” of CBD Oil The word cannabis paints a picture of addicts. But did you know that CBD oil,…
calories healthy
Calories: How to keep a check on these for faster weight loss Did you know you can burn calories while sleeping? Calorie-burning is what causes weight loss.…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It…
Vitamin B12: The unknown repercussions of this nutrient deficiency Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamine; involved in the development of red blood cells…
Valerian Root: The best way to achieve tranquil sleep every night Valerian root is probably one of the oldest and safest way to cure your insomnia.…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and…
Top 15 fat burning foods you need to start eating from today! Tired of going to gym everyday but seeing no change in your weight? Try these…
Sharpen your brain with these top brain-friendly foods! Did you know your diet could decide how razor sharp your memory is? Or that…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that…
Eustachian Tube : Functions and top home remedies to prevent its infection Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the…
General adaptation syndrome: Understanding stress, one step at a time The struggle of the body to produce hormones during a stressful situation is the main…
Sore Throat: How to treat this throat infection at home? Do frequent cold and cough hamper your daily life? Are these followed by a pain…
Hot cups for detox? Read all about the ancient technique of cupping Did you know inverted hot cups on your back can squeeze out and eject toxins…
LFT-test
Liver Function Test – LFT LFT or Liver Function Test is a blood test used to determine the levels of…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called…
rubella IgG test
Rubella IgG Test The rubella IgG test is a blood test that checks for the rubella virus IgG…
HPV diegene hybrid dna detection
HPV Digene Hybrid DNA Detection test An HPV DNA test is a test used to detect 13 high-risk types of human…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your…
Serotonin happiness
Serotonin: What you didn’t know about this “feel-good” chemical Serotonin : Did you know that this "feel-good" hormone could well impact your sleep cycle,…
Spirulina: Battle diabetes and cholesterol with this blue-green algae Spirulina, a species of salt water algae, has now become a billion dollar industry. How…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
waking up tired
10 reasons why you might be waking up tired Do you feel you are not getting enough sleep? Sleep-deprived and frustrated? Read on discover…
Magnesium depression
Citrate or Oxide: Which magnesium supplement is best for your body? Magnesium : Does your DNA require some repair works? Or bones and muscles need some…

Related Posts

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.