Environmental factor, smoking either active or passive, air pollution or gene mutations, there are plenty of reasons for Lung cancer but it is important to understand the early signs of the illness. In lung cancer, malicious or abnormal cells cluster together to form a tumor in any part of your lungs. If left untreated, it may spread to other parts of your body with time.
People have a misconception that lung cancer occurs only if you smoke. The disease is equally common even for the non-smokers and hasn’t even touched the nicotine ever in their life. In fact, according to recent studies by the American Cancer Society, 20 per cent of people diagnosed with lung cancer were non-smokers. However, if diagnosed early, you have a 50% greater chance to survive. Here are some early warning signs to help you identify a lung cancer.
1. Persistent cough
One of the most common symptoms of lung cancer is coughing. Generally, cough caused by cold or pneumonia disappears within a week or two. But if you have a persistent cough for more than 2 weeks, do visit your doctor for a quick check-up. It may be an early sign of lung cancer. If you smoke, you need to pay much attention to a chronic cough (lasts eight weeks or more).
2. Shortness of breath
The cancer cells mutate fast and tumor grows so large the organ does not support normal breathing due to the blockage of airways. In advanced stages, the shortness of breath increases. This is known as dyspnea. A sufferer of lung cancer can have normal oxygen saturation (Above 90%) but may experience shortness of breath.
3. Excessive weight loss
An unexplained weight loss is the first sign of many types of cancer including, lung cancer. The sufferer often complains of loss of appetite. Moreover, the condition of advanced malnutrition, called cachexia, occurs. It’s an inability to digest nutrients. Cachexia may be due to the blockage or low ability to digest food in the gastrointestinal tract due to the tumor cells.
4. Frequent infections
Pneumonia is one of the common lung infection. It could be severe, life-threatening and even fatal in some cases. Sufferers of lung cancer have an increased risk of developing pneumonia. So, if you develop frequent symptoms of respiratory issues like cold, cough or pneumonia, consult your doctor. A delayed diagnosis and treatment could be fatal.
5. A bloody cough (Phlegm)
Coughing up blood is a common symptom of lung cancer. The medical term for this is hemoptysis, the presence of blood in the spit or phlegm coughed up from the lungs.
6. Chest and back pain
Some people may experience back pain as an early sign of lung cancer. If you have a persistent cough and suffer shortness of breath along with back pain, it’s time to rush to your doctor. Also, the metastasis of the malignant cells from the lungs spreads to the spine, bones and adrenal glands and cause back pain and shoulder pain.
7. Voice changes or Hoarseness
When lung cancer involves the laryngeal nerve, it may affect your vocal cords and may cause a change or hoarseness in your voice. If your hoarseness lasts for two or more weeks, see your doctor.
Your sleep cycle is disturbed. Also, you feel drowsy and lethargic through the day. In advanced stages, your body cells fight with the cancer cells, which makes you feel tired.
If you suffer from a continuous rise in temperature it means that your body is fighting with an infection.
An early diagnosis and treatment is the key to fight cancer. Physical tests, like X-rays, CT scans and blood and sputum culture are few of the pathology and imaging tests to help diagnose the disease. If you experience any of the above mentions symptoms, see the best oncologist near you right away.
Midland Healthcare and Research Center has best Cancer doctors in Lucknow backed by world-class facilities, pathology and imagining facilities that to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.