Lung cancer’s early stage symptoms are not easy to notice. Some people may suffer from lung cancer and not know it. However, as the number of signs and symptoms of lung cancer begins to increase, it will become more likely that you notice them, causing you to wonder whether you suffer from lung cancer.
Always visit a doctor when you notice some of the early warning signs and symptoms that may line up with a diagnosis of lung cancer.
Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Some of the earliest signs that someone may have from lung cancer include a slight cough or shortness of breath.
However, because these symptoms can be present with several other types of illnesses and diseases, it can be difficult to diagnose lung cancer without the presence of additional symptoms.
This condition is exactly how someone could suffer from lung cancer and not know it. People with an undiagnosed case of lung cancer may believe they are feeling run-down or tired from a cold or the flu.
Other Signs of Lung Cancer
Beyond a slight cough and shortness of breath, multiple other symptoms of lung cancer exist. Remember, these symptoms may not show up until the disease is in a mid- or late-stage prognosis, making it far more difficult to have a successful recovery. Common symptoms of lung cancer include:
- A cough that seems to linger or persist
- A change in a chronic cough
- Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
- Persistent hoarseness
- Persistent wheezing
- Chest, back, or shoulder pain when trying to breathe deeply
- Weight loss without an explanation
- Loss of appetite
- Persistent weakness or tiredness
- An ongoing bout of bronchitis or pneumonia that will not clear up, even with medication
- Face or neck swelling
- Pain while swallowing
Understand that people diagnosed with lung cancer may have the majority of these symptoms, and it is just as likely for some people living with lung cancer to have only a few of these symptoms. If you have any concerns regarding your symptoms and the possibility of lung cancer, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
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Risk Factors for Lung Cancer
If you have some of the symptoms of lung cancer that we have mentioned here, but you still are unsure if you have the disease, pay attention to the primary risk factors for this type of cancer. If you have a higher than average risk for lung cancer and some symptoms, your chances of having lung cancer increase significantly. Some common risk factors for lung cancer include:
- Smoking cigarettes or cigars
- Exposure to second-hand smoke
- Exposure to radon gas
- Exposure to asbestos
- Exposure to arsenic
- Exposure to chromium
- Exposure to nickel
- Family history of lung cancer
If you have multiple risk factors, your chances of developing lung cancer increase.
Complications from Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is one of the most serious forms of cancer. Living with the complications of lung cancer is difficult. Some of those complications include:
- Continued shortness of breath: sufferers have difficulty with some everyday activities because of the inability to draw in a lungful of air.
- Persistent coughing: coughing interrupts breathing, making it difficult for sufferers to find relief.
- Pain in the chest: the tumors in the lungs press on healthy tissues, causing pain.
- Pain elsewhere in the body: the cancer spreads to other areas of the body, causing pain.
Alleviating Pain from Lung Cancer
Although the cure rate for lung cancer is lower than other forms of cancer, especially if not caught early enough, doctors can alleviate some of the pain and other symptoms associated with lung cancer.
If the cancer has spread beyond the lungs, you may notice headaches and nausea. Doctors can administer medication that helps with these problems.
Should lung cancer cause a buildup of fluid in the chest and around the lungs, doctors have methods of draining the fluid and preventing it from building up quickly.
If you cough up blood, doctors also can reduce the effects of this loss of blood.
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Let Us Protect Your Right to Seek Compensation
For those who may have lung cancer and not know it, the long-term prognosis is not as good as when a doctor catches the disease in the early stages. According to the American Lung Association, lung cancer causes about 1.8 million deaths worldwide each year, making it an extremely serious disease. The earlier the doctor catches the cancer, the more hopeful the prognosis.
If you believe exposure to dangerous chemicals or materials such as asbestos played a role in your diagnosis of cancer, you may want to hire representation to protect your right to pursue compensation. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm does not shy away from tough cases. We are ready to stand by your side. Call us at (800) 217-6099 for a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, so you pay nothing unless you receive compensation.