Some of the early symptoms of lung cancer include:
- Coughing gets worse with time and does not go away easily.
- Blood or phlegm witnessed during coughing.
- Chest pain that worsens during deep breathing, laughing, or coughing.
- Hoarse voice.
- Shortness of breath.
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Sudden weight loss and loss of appetite.
In some cases, patients might get recurrent infections like pneumonia and bronchitis.
As cancer spreads, some more severe symptoms are observed in the following regions:
- Lymph Nodes: lumps in the neck or collarbone.
- Bones: pain in the back, ribs or hips.
- Brain or Spine: numbness in hands or legs, dizziness, headache, balance issues.
- Liver: Jaundice, yellowing of skin and eyes.
In case the tumour is located at the top of the lungs, it can affect facial nerves resulting in drooping of one eyelid, reduced perspiration on one side of the face, small pupil or shoulder pain. Together, these symptoms are called Horner syndrome.
Further, the tumour can press on the pulmonary veins that transport blood to the head, arms, and heart, causing swelling of the face, neck, and upper chest and arms.
Lung cancers also produce certain hormone-like substances leading to a variety of symptoms known as paraneoplastic syndrome. These symptoms are:
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- Fluid retention
- High blood sugar
Now that the lung cancer signs are clear, one should be aware of its causes.