8 SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF LUNG CANCER

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Known to be one of the major causes of deaths in both men and women, lung cancer is a disease that can be cured if diagnosed in its early stages. Its primary cause is cigarette smoking, while other causes involve passive smoking and constant exposure to pollution. There are two types of lung cancer —small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Here are 8 subtle signs and symptoms of lung cancer you need to look out for.
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A PERSISTENT COUGH
Everyone tends to suffer from a coughing spell now and then. But if it tends to linger for weeks and seems to intensify over time, it could be a symptom of lung cancer. Some patients are known to cough up blood or phlegm lined with blood during the latter stages.
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PANCOAST’S SYNDROME
A symptom commonly associated with lung cancer is the Pancoast’s Syndrome. It is characterized by severe pain in the shoulders and the muscles in your arm. Incidentally, a subset of lung cancer, Pancoast’s Syndrome can destroy the nerve cells in your shoulders and arms and invade the bone structure of your rib cage.
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HOARSENESS
Is your voice constantly hoarse? It could be the result of the nerves in your vocal cords weakened by lung cancer. This symptom is often mistaken for a throat infection and left untreated. This is a condition that requires immediate attention as the cancer cells could end up paralyzing your vocal cords.
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DIFFICULTY TO SWALLOW
If you constantly face throat problems and difficulty in swallowing food, it could be a condition called dysphagia; a symptom associated with lung cancer. The pain you experience could be due to cancer spreading from your lungs to the esophagus. Dysphagia happens to be a fatal symptom as the cancer patients who display this symptom end up with the worst prognoses.
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ACHING BONES
Frequent body pain is another red flag of lung cancer. The cancer cells spread to your bones, weakening them. The pain is known to worsen at night, which is a helpful tip to differentiate it from normal body pain. If you keep experiencing constant back, neck, shoulder or arm pain, seek medical help immediately.
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WHEEZING
Wheezing is usually caused due to an obstruction or inflammation in your air passage. Though wheezing can be caused by many factors like allergies, dust, smoke or pollen, it also happens to be a common symptom of lung cancer.
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CHEST PAIN
Many patients who suffer from lung cancer may experience chest pain. The pain is often described as a dull ache that usually lasts for long time periods. Some patients also experience a sharp pain in the areas around their lungs. The chest pain may also be accompanied by a shoulder or back pain.
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SUDDEN WEIGHT LOSS
Though occasional fluctuations in your body weight are normal, a sudden drop in your weight should raise alarm. Unusual weight loss is often associated with many serious health conditions including lung cancer. This happens because the cancer cells can control how the energy is used in our body and also drain our body of all its strength.
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These symptoms do not guarantee that you have lung cancer. But it is recommended that you seek medical help and get a proper diagnosis if you experience these symptoms for more than three weeks.

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