According to a research, almost 40% of patients suffering from cancer were diagnosed when the cancer has evolved in the late 3rd stage, meaning it has already made big progress. This is as it is because lung cancer shows no symptoms and it is hard to notice it in its early stages. Fortunately, there are 7 signs that indicate lung cancer and can help you in diagnosing it before it is too late.
1. Persistent Cough
Pay attention to the way you cough. If the cough is gone after one or two weeks, it means you have caught a regular cough due to a respiratory infection or a cold. However, if you suffer from the same cough even after two weeks it might indicate to lung cancer. If you cough out mucus it is mandatory to visit your doctor and make the relevant tests on your lungs and chest, for example: x-rays. If there are some other changes in your cough, such as: cough with hoarse sound, cough with blood or extreme mucus, then you must not waste anymore time and visit your doctor.
2. Being out of Breath
Shortness of breath is another lung cancer symptom and it is caused because of two possible things: the first is there is probably a fluid accumulated in your chest as a result of a lung tumor; the second is there is narrowing (blockage) of the airways. Therefore, if due to some daily actions you feel shortness of breath, which did not make you feel like it before, such as bringing groceries, climbing up stairs or some other actions, then it is strongly recommended to visit your doctor.
3. Pain in the chest, back or shoulders
Even though pain caused in the above mentioned areas is not often connected with lung cancer, it may be caused as a result of metastasis on the chests, lungs, or enlargement of the lymph nodes or the ribs.
It does not matter if you feel healthy, strong, constant or dull, what matters is that you must visit your doctor in order to make sure what is going on with your health condition.
If you notice a wheezing or whistling sound while you breathe, pay a visit to your doctor. However, you must not panic because all those sounds appear when airways are constricted or inflamed. The sounds may be a sign of something easily curable. If the sounds are prolonged then you should visit your doctor for sure.
5. Weight Drop
When having lung cancer, you may experience sudden weight drop. This is due to cancer cells using body’s energy that has been obtained from food.
6. Pain in the bones
If you are feeling severe pain in the bones or any other part of your back during any time of the day or night, then you need to pay attention to this serious symptom and consult with a doctor.
7. Continuous headache
If you are constantly feeling headache then you might be dealing with lung cancer that had spread to the brain. However, headache occurrence may not always be linked with metastases in the brain. This headache may be caused because the lung tumor presses the main vein that transfers blood from the upper part to your heart.
How to be able to diagnose lung cancer at early stage?
Since x-rays cannot discover lung cancer on time, there are CT scans (computed tomography) which can help in the process of discovering the sneaky disease on time and reducing the possibility of death when dealing with lung cancer. To sum everything up, you should not wait for any kind of sign to occur in order to go to the doctor, make an x-ray or do a CT scan. Any person between 55 and 80 years of age and the ones who have been active smokers in the last 15 years should make the tests as soon as possible in order to prevent lung cancer.