Lung cancer is a disease whose symptoms are difficult to identify at the earliest stage because they are almost nonexistent. However, with the onset and spread of the disease, systemic signs and most common symptoms occur. These are the 7 symptoms of lung cancer that you should not ignore:
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Long-term cough and shortness of breath
Most people with lung cancer suffer from severe cough, sometimes accompanied by bloody marks. Any form of prolonged cough requires a visit to the doctor.
A cough that gets worse and more intense over time is a clear warning sign. Rust-thick mucus can be an early sign of the disease, and a dry cough that lasts more than a month is also worth checking out.
Non-smokers account for about 15% of lung cancer cases, with exposure to polluted air, chemicals and secondhand smoke to be the main causes. Although shortness of breath is associated with various other diseases, it can also be associated with lung cancer.
If you feel out of shape, have difficulty breathing, especially when you want to take a deep breath, be sure to consult your doctor to determine if it is lung cancer or something else.
If you often need to clear your throat, feel increased saliva, hoarse, have a dry cough, cough up brown, orange or red mucus and notice blood in your saliva, be sure to see your doctor.
Most of the time, viruses or bacteria are to blame for lung infections like bronchitis and pneumonia. However, if you get sick multiple times and it seems like every disease is going straight to your chest, it could be a sign of lung cancer. These infections can be caused by the tumor itself or due to a weakened immune system, research shows.
The symptoms are similar to colds, flu and infection. The only difference is the frequency of symptoms and their duration. Specifically, if symptoms persist for a long time, be sure to consult your doctor to determine if it is cancer.
As cancer cells spread through lung tissue and bronchial tubes, symptoms similar to colds or flu can occur. Lung cancer makes a person more susceptible to disease and infection. The immune system is weakened, which makes it impossible for the body to defend itself against microbes.
Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss
Sudden weight loss without a change in diet or diet is always a warning symptom.
If you are constantly losing weight for no good reason, and foods that used to be delicious are suddenly repulsive, it is important that you discover the true cause of these changes.
Some people lose their appetite and simply forget to eat, some quickly become satiated even after small portions, and some feel nauseated if they eat too much or eat too fast. If these symptoms have not been present before, be sure to seek medical help.
Lung cancer can cause loss of appetite and weight loss due to various factors. As you put more effort into breathing, your appetite can be significantly reduced. Abdominal pain is associated with nausea, and a constantly weak appetite occurs when cancer spreads to the liver.
Chronic chest pain is one of the most obvious signs of lung cancer, especially if it becomes more intense with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing. Notice if the pain spreads to the back and shoulders. Whether the pain is dull or sharp, talk to your doctor if it lasts for a long time.
Chest pain is associated with a heart attack, but people not at risk should see a doctor to determine if it is lung cancer. Even 1 in 4 people have chest pain as the first symptom of lung cancer.
Lung cancer can spread to other organs in your body. It can also spread to the bones so you may feel severe pain deep in your bones or joints. Often the pain moves to the back and hips.
Patients with cancer in 80% of cases feel indescribable fatigue.
This is also one of the first symptoms of lung cancer. It is reminiscent of feeling tired during the flu, fever or cold. Cancer-induced fatigue is constant and does not go away no matter what you do.
The substances that are released and travel the bloodstream affect the level of oxygen in the body, the health of red blood cells, the adrenal glands and other parts of the body that are responsible for producing energy.
It differs from normal fatigue in that you feel so exhausted that you can hardly wait to lie down in bed and even after a long sleep you do not feel better. Similar fatigue occurs with depression and some other conditions, so consult your doctor to make sure you have correctly identified the source of your fatigue.
Fatigue can be caused by insomnia, overtime and many other factors. Cancer can spread to the adrenal glands that directly control the release of energy.
If you are constantly tired for no reason, a lot of sleep does not help you get rid of fatigue and it is literally difficult for you to get out of bed, be sure to consult your doctor.
Weakness in muscles
Lung cancer affects your muscles as well as other organs in the body. The constant feeling of weakness may be one of the first signs of lung cancer.
Lung cancer cells can produce certain hormones or cause your immune system to attack parts of your nervous system that directly affect your muscles, leading to weakness.
Muscle weakness occurs when these harmful substances begin to travel through the bloodstream and reach the muscle. If these substances spread to the brain, impaired function of one side of the brain may occur.
One of the first areas of attack is the hips to the extent that you may find it difficult to get out of your chair. Weakness in the shoulders, arms and legs is also characteristic.
If you feel you have to put in too much energy for everything, feel tired, and with the least effort, consult your doctor to determine if you are suffering from lung cancer.
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Irena is a dentist from Croatia, working extensively in her field, but she also has a high interest in the fields of fitness, nutrition and medicine in general. She has been educating herself about how to lead a healthy lifestyle for years. She seeks to help people adopt healthy habits as well as healthy and positive thinking about life. In her spare time, she hikes, runs, plays saxophone and guitar, and develops her own websites – Salubrius Vita and GoalDigger. Her life motto is: When they expect a lot from you, you do even more.