Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Easily Ignored Lung Cancer Symptoms

If you cough up blood, the first thing that might come to your mind is that you possibly have lung cancer. But that’s not the only sign or symptom of the disease, says an expert to highlight the importance of cancer awareness during Lung Cancer Awareness Month. According to the Indian Journal of Medical Research, lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. If we look at the statistics, it accounts for 13% of all new cancer related cases and 19% of cancer related deaths worldwide.

In India, lung cancer constitutes 9.3% of all cancer-related deaths in both sexes. This requires an awareness of the subject. Health Shots reached out to Dr. Kaushal Kishor Yadav, Senior Consultant and Clinical Lead, Surgical Oncology, Narayana Hospital, Gurugram to know about lung cancer symptoms you should not ignore.

Only some people with early-stage lung cancer develop symptoms

When the body’s cells begin to multiply uncontrollably, that’s when cancer appears. Yadav said that only a few people with early-stage lung cancer actually develop symptoms or show signs, but most of the time, “symptoms don’t appear until the cancer has spread.”

So naturally, when cancer is caught at an early stage, treatment is more likely to be beneficial.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Common symptoms of lung cancer

1. If you have a persistent cough that gets worse or doesn’t go away, you need to see a doctor.
2. Many know that coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum is a possible sign of lung cancer.
3. There are times when you feel chest pains, but sometimes they get worse when you laugh, cough or take a deep breath.
4. Hoarse voice doesn’t always mean it’s just a sign of a cold.
5. Do you love to eat, but have you been showing less interest in eating and have you lost your appetite? Yadav thinks it might be a symptom of lung cancer.
6. Weight loss usually means good news for people. But when you don’t do much to lose weight and experience unusual weight loss, you should be concerned.
7. In everyday life, you don’t think much about breathing because it happens naturally. But experiencing breathing difficulties can be another symptom of lung cancer.
8. Doing too much physical activity can make you tired. But feeling tired and weak all the time calls for a trip to the doctor.

lung cancer symptoms
Lung Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Signs that lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body

Here are the signs, shared by Dr. Yadav, which suggest that lung cancer affected other parts of his body:

1. You would feel bone pain like pain in your hips or back.
2. You would end up with nervous system problems such as headaches, paralysis or numbness in your arms or legs, dizziness, balance problems or seizures. They are caused by cancer and spread to the brain.
3. There would also be swollen lymph nodes, particularly in the neck or above the collarbone.

While these signs and symptoms can be associated with lung cancer, they can also be caused by conditions other than lung cancer, Yadav said. He advised that if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, immediately see your doctor so that the “reason can be identified and treated if necessary.”

What treatments are available for lung cancer?

Surgery is the most effective treatment in the early stages of lung cancer. “It involves removing the part of the lung affected by the cancer, but sometimes complete removal of the affected lung along with the lymph nodes in the chest is required,” Yadav said.

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Easily Ignored Lung Cancer Symptoms

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top