7 early symptoms of lung cancer
The possibility of lung cancer should not be taken lightly. This disease, in its initial stages, may not present any apparent symptoms, which is why several people go undiagnosed until the disease has reached an advanced stage. Given below are seven early symptoms of lung cancer that, if spotted, should encourage you to seek a doctor’s consultation.
- Persistent coughing
A cough that lingers is not a good sign. A cough caused due to a respiratory infection or cold will resolve itself in a few weeks. However, a persistent cough may be a sign of lung cancer.
- Changes in coughing
If you are a smoker, do pay attention to any changes in your cough. It may be time to see a doctor if you cough more often than usual, if your cough sounds hoarse or deeper, or if blood is spotted in your cough.
- Changes in breathing
This could include becoming easily winded or experiencing shortness of breath. It occurs when lung cancer narrows an airway or blocks it, thereby restricting the flow of air. It may also occur if the fluid from a lung tumor gathers in the chest.
- Chest pain
Lung cancer may trigger chest pain or even pain in the back or shoulders. Be on the lookout for sharp, constant, dull, or intermittent pain. Also, note if the pain is confined to a specific area or occurs around the chest.
- Wheezing sounds
The lungs create a whistling or wheezing sound as you breathe when the airways become blocked, constricted, or inflamed. You should note that wheezing can be associated with several causes, only one of which may be lung cancer.
- Hoarse or raspy voice
If someone points out to you, or if you notice, that your voice has changed significantly, you must seek an appointment with the doctor. Lung cancer can make your voice hoarse, deeper, or raspier.
- Weight loss
If you experience an unexplained drop in weight of 10 pounds or more, then it may be a serious symptom of lung cancer. When cancerous cells are present in the body, they deplete your energy and could signify a shift in the manner your body extracts energy from food.
These are the top seven symptoms of lung cancer that you must be aware of in order to seek timely diagnosis and treatment.