Lung cancer starts in the lungs and can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. It’s important to detect it as early as possible so that you have more options when it comes to a treatment plan. A routine CT scan can detect a tumor on your lungs and is the first test that leads to a diagnosis. Here are five early symptoms you should be concerned about.
A Persistent Cough
Though everyone gets a cough now and then, a cough that just won’t go away is a cause for concern. Visit your doctor immediately if you’re a smoker or if you’re coughing up a large amount of mucus or blood. When you get a cough that isn’t necessarily from a respiratory illness, start paying attention to any changes you experience along with it such as wheezing or a change in the quality of your voice. Most people who have malignant cells in their lungs develop a raspy or hoarse voice when the tumor interferes with the larynx.
Difficulty Catching Your Breath
If you experience acute shortness of breath during mundane activities such as mowing the lawn or climbing one flight of stairs, it might be the result of fluid from a tumor building up near the chest.
Chest pain can be a sharp occasional twinge, a dull throb or a consistent ache. You may not feel it exclusively in the chest either. Many people complain of pain in the shoulder or upper back too. People with lung cancer experience this kind of pain either from enlarged lymph nodes or because the cancer cells in the lungs have moved to the chest wall.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Cancer cells burn a lot of energy which may result in weight loss. Malignant cells anywhere in the body also change the fundamental way that most of our physiological systems work. Your body might change the way it uses food as an energy source. If the numbers drop on the scale and you haven’t made any significant changes to your lifestyle, exercise regimen or diet, you should visit the doctor’s clinic immediately.
A Headache Or Frequent Migraines
Sometimes a tumor on the lung can press up against the superior vena cava, a vein that passes blood from the upper body to the heart. The pressure from this can bring on serious headaches or migraines.