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Lung Cancer Symptoms You might wish you had known sooner.

 

The trick to improving lung cancer survival rates is to be diagnosed early, when the illness is either localized or contained within the lungs. Most people's cancer has either metastasized or advanced outside the lungs by the time they are diagnosed, making it more difficult to manage at that point.
Knowing and being mindful of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer will help save your life if caught early. The chance of lasting 5 years or more increases to 55 percent if lung cancer is detected before it spreads.

  • Coughing or hoarseness that persists

All should visit a doctor if they have a cough that won't go anywhere. Even if it starts with a flu, if a person has a dry or productive cough, as well as a raspy, hoarse voice, for more than eight weeks with no other clear cause, it needs to be treated.

  • Breathing problems

When a person becomes out of breath, wheezes, or becomes winded while doing things that are usually not a concern, it should be taken as a warning sign that something is wrong.
Shortness of breath can be caused by a variety of factors other than lung cancer. However, if a person is still at a high risk of lung cancer, it is best to have it checked out as soon as possible.

  • Loss in appetite and weight loss

Unexpected or unexplained weight loss without attempting to lose weight is often a red flag that anything is off. While it does not always imply lung cancer, unintentional weight loss must be addressed. Weight loss is always accompanied by a reduction in appetite, and the two together could indicate the presence of a cancer tumor. Even if anything else seems to be in order, the body is working overtime to cure a tumor that continues to develop while increasing calorie burn.

  • Pressure in the chest.

Lung cancer can cause aching pain in the abdomen, back, or shoulders if it has spread to the chest wall or caused swollen lymph nodes in the area. Lung cancer causes chest pain that gets worse as you cough, chuckle, or breathe deeply; chest pain deep in the lungs, particularly when lifting something, coughing, or laughing, may be a symptom of lung cancer. If the discomfort persists, it may be a sign of a growing tumor rubbing against nearby tissues and nerve endings as it becomes larger.

  • Coughing up blood or sputum that is rust-colored

When an individual coughs up blood or has blood on their phlegm, it is never a positive indication. It may or may not be a symptom of lung cancer, so it should be taken to a doctor's attention.
Symptoms of shortness of breath, chest pain, or a constant fever are usually present around the time a person starts coughing up blood.

  • Are you exhausted or weak?

Tiredness or fatigue may be caused by a variety of factors. However, if one experiences a significant drop in energy levels to the point that getting something done at work or at home becomes a real challenge, something is wrong, and it may be a symptom of cancer.
When cancer progresses, it takes a toll on the body's energy supply, causing you to tire quickly and feel weaker than normal.

  • Bronchitis or pneumonia that recurs

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi, the lungs' primary airways. It usually follows a viral respiratory infection and can be either acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Chronic bronchitis occurs when a person coughs up a lot of mucus and it lasts for at least three months on most days of the month. Bronchitis, whether acute or chronic, can lead to pneumonia.
When you have recurrent bronchitis or pneumonia, you can investigate why they keep coming up. To rule out lung cancer, a doctor can do a rigorous lab and imaging examination.

Knowing how to spot these ultra-subtle signs will help you detect lung cancer in the early stages, which is critical.
“When it comes to lung cancer, there is a significant gap in terms of recovery between early diagnosis and late detection,” Dr. McKee says. In reality, those diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer have a five-year survival rate of less than 10%. When lung cancer is discovered in the early stages, though, the patient's therapy is far more likely to be successful.

PAULA MARGETT, 42, of NY, was diagnosed with lung cancer after seeing her doctor with a chronic cough. Palacios tells SELF, "I developed a cough from what I originally thought was a cold contracted by my son." The cough persisted for a few weeks. “I didn't want to make a huge deal out of it, so I didn't go see my doctor right away. I even scheduled an appointment three weeks after I started coughing, but I canceled it.”

She eventually agreed to see a doctor a couple weeks later. She said, "I had to accept that this cough wasn't going anywhere and that it didn't seem like it was from a common cold." “The cough was dry, and it came in fits and starts. When this happened, I would cough uncontrollably until I started gagging and couldn't catch my breath.” She was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer after meeting a few doctors. “This was an initial blow to me and everyone in my life as a never-smoker,” PAULA says.

Rivas developed a dry cough a few years back. Rivas states that it was initially only "a lingering irritation, but nothing that prompted much alarm." It got more offensive over the course of the year. “It had a hollow or drum-like sound to it. It came from deep inside my chest and was excruciatingly painful. It was more severe at night and came with a fever.” Although she used to cough, she never felt ill enough to see a hospital.
Rivas finally had an X-ray and was diagnosed with pneumonia. She felt very tired and had a fever a few weeks later. She sensed something wasn't quite right, and after further X-rays and scans, she discovered a cancerous tumor developing on her right lung.

Finally, you can't go wrong by listening to your body and exercising caution.
Seeing a doctor when anything doesn't feel right will help you spot lung cancer—or some other health problem—in the early stages. While these signs do not occur with anyone with lung cancer, they are the ones that are more likely to appear before the disease progresses and becomes more severe.
According to Dr., a chronic cough, wheezing, or shortness of breath may be symptoms of acid reflux, asthma, or a drug side effect. And any irregular trouble breathing should be checked for by a doctor. Dr. says, "There are just things you want the doctor to weigh in on."

Even if it's not the worst-case situation, you'll be relieved to have received medication and hopefully gotten rid of the bothersome cough.

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