Symptoms of lung cancer are not as a rule noticeable during early stages of the disease because the first symptoms to appear are frequently comparable to those of other, non-malignant respiratory illnesses.
Although generally lung cancers don’t cause any symptoms until they have spread too far to be cured, there are typical symptoms occurring in some people with early lung cancer.
If someone with early lung cancer was to go to their health care consultant when they first noticed their symptoms, there would be a possibility their cancer would be diagnosed and treated whilst at a curable stage, so anyone experiencing any of the following problems or symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
Common signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:
- A cough that doesn’t disappear and gets worse over a period of time
- Constant pain in the chest
- Coughing up blood
- Frequent problems with pneumonia, bronchitis or other related respiratory problems.
- Puffiness round the neck and face
- Gross exhaustion
- Shortness of breath.
- Wheezing and/or gasping
- Huskiness when speaking
- Loss of appetite
- Mysterious weight loss
Some of these symptoms may be related to other diseases or conditions, so the only way to know for definite if a person is suffering from lung cancer is for a specialist to perform the necessary tests.
When lung cancer spreads to distant organs, it may well cause:
- Bony pain
- Neurological changes (such as weakness or lack of feeling of a limb, giddiness, or onset of a seizure)
- Jaundice (which is a yellow colouring of the skin and eyes)
- Tumerous masses near the surface of the body, due to cancer spreading to the skin or to lymph nodes (collection of immune system cells) in the neck or above the collarbone.