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Even as there is great advancement in healthcare, lifestyle diseases are only growing with passing time. Cancer has become more common today, and what’s most alarming is that certain kinds do not even show many symptoms. A case in point is lung cancer, which is diagnosed at a much later stage. But here’s what you need to know — just like everything else, there are some early warning signs and symptoms. You just need to watch out!
Have you been coughing like crazy without a reason? If it’s something mild, it will disappear on its own. If not, it will persist and let’s just say, it could be a symptom of lung cancer. According to a large UK-based population study, cough is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer, and about 0.2% who had a cough for more than three weeks were ultimately diagnosed with lung cancer. Make sure to observe any changes in a chronic cough, especially if you are a smoker. Even if you throw up a lot of mucus, it is time to visit a doctor.
If you get tired too easily and experience shortness of breath, it could be a sign of lung cancer. Any changes in breathing could indicate that your airways are being blocked by lung cancer. If you find it harder today to do something that was much simpler in the past, do not ignore it at any cost.
“It could mean that your lungs are inflamed or blocked, and it’s better to see a specialist without any delay. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it is cancer, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry,” says Dr Rashmi Tarachandani, a general physician.
Another common symptom of lung cancer is body pain. It could produce pain in the chest, shoulders or even the back. Make sure to properly describe the pain, whether it is localised or you feel it everywhere. If lung cancer is the reason behind this pain, it could be due to enlarged lymph nodes or metastasis to the chest wall. It could also spread to your bones, which might get out of hand at night.
Lung cancer could also show up in the form of changes in your voice. There are times when a simple cold could lead to a hoarse voice, but if it persists, it could be something serious.
If you notice any drastic changes in weight without any reason, it could be a symptom of lung cancer. That’s because cancer cells use energy, and sometimes that means it shows up in your weight. If you aren’t trying to lose weight and it’s still happening, it’s a sign that something is wrong.
The American Cancer Society’s lung cancer screening guidelines recommend that higher risk people between the ages of 55 and 74 must get themselves screened. They include those who:
It’s always better to be safe than sorry!