Navigating Lung Cancer Navigating Lung Cancer - Page 11

Symptoms of Lung Cancer Early lung cancer usually does not cause noticeable symptoms. Many times, it is discovered later. Even then, there are good treatment options. Sometimes lung cancer appears on a chest radiograph, a CT or CAT scan, or a test that’s done for something else, like a lung infection. Lung doctors are key in the prompt diagnosis, staging, and treatment of lung cancer. Symptoms of lung cancer can affect the whole body. Persistent cough and shortness of breath are the most common. Other common symptoms and complications include: • • • • • coughing up blood chest, shoulder, or back pain voice changes, especially hoarseness repeated lung infections (such as pneumonia or bronchitis) difficulty swallowing Sometimes, lung cancer spreads beyond the lungs to other parts of the body. Symptoms that may be seen when lung cancer has spread include: • • • • • weakness fatigue unexplained weight loss bone or joint pain unexplained broken bones • • • • • headaches blood clots or bleeding unsteady movement or seizures memory loss neck or face swelling Any persistent, unusual, or unexplained symptom should be checked out by a doctor. Everyone coughs sometimes, but a cough that persists – especially with other signs, such as blood in the mucus or unexplained pain – should always be checked out. Like all cancers, lung cancer is best treated when caught early. Many symptoms are non-specific. They can be the result of other medical problems not related to lung cancer. People with COPD can have a chronic cough and repeated infections. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis if you have any symptoms. 9