Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths and is the second most frequently diagnosed type of cancer (after skin cancer), according to the American Cancer Society. Most people who have this type of cancer do not feel or notice any symptoms until it has spread (metastasized) to other tissues and organs, so it is important to have regular checkups to ensure early detection if necessary.
However, some people do experience early symptoms. Listed below are some of the first signs of lung cancer that you can look out for.
You have to be aware of a new cough that lingers and won’t stop. A cough that is associated with either a benign respiratory infection or a cold will disappear within one or two weeks, but a persistent cough that stays and goes on nonstop might be an early symptom of lung cancer.
Therefore, be sure to see a lung specialist if you have a cough that isn’t going away. Never underestimate and dismiss a stubborn cough and assume it will go away eventually.
Changes in Breathing
One of the most common early symptoms of lung cancer is frequent shortness of breath. This change in breathing happens when the illness narrows or blocks an airway. This also occurs if the fluid from the lung tumor builds up in the chest.
Do not ignore sudden changes in your breathing patterns, especially if you find it difficult to breathe correctly after performing activities that you usually find easy. Seek the advice of a doctor as soon as possible.
Two out of every 10 people with lung cancer develop a condition called hypercalcemia, a state where the person develops unusually high calcium levels in their blood. Housing too much calcium in your body can make you experience:
- Excessive thirst
- Stomach-area pains
There are instances where lung cancer produces pain in the chest, back, or shoulders. These might produce a dull, sharp, intermittent, or constant pain.
Persistent Lung Infections
Recurring pneumonia or bronchitis can also be an early indicator of lung cancer. Wheezing and uncomfortable breathing can also develop, because the body isn’t healing from the infection.
Some lung cancer cells might attack your other systems, such as the nervous system. Once they do, it might affect the response and function of your muscles. There might be times when you feel unsteady, or you might find it difficult to stand up from sitting down.
Early Lung Cancer Detection and Treatment in Texas
If you feel that you are experiencing one or a number of these signs, then you should immediately seek the assistance of a lung doctor. Here at the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas, our physicians have decades of experience diagnosing and successfully treating lung and pulmonary issues of all kinds.
You may reach out to us by calling (817) 594-9993. We look forward to partnering with you for a lifetime of health and wellness!