Lung Cancer is a rapid and unrestrained growth of unusual cells which may start cropping up in one or both lungs in the cells lining up the air passages. These abnormal cells are known to multiply in a short span of time and eventually transform into tumors. Once these tumors become large enough, they hinder the ability of the lung to provide the system with oxygen. Tumors are of two types – Benign tumors and malignant tumors. Tumors which do not spread and remain fixed to one particular place are referred to as benign tumors. They cause no serious problem to the body and hence are termed “benign”. Malignant tumors on the other hand are dangerous and spread like a wildfire. If not taken care of, malignant tumors may spread to different parts of the body, either through the lymphatic system or through the bloodstream and wreak havoc in the long run. The signs and symptoms of cancer are varied and thus it is quite hard to identify cancer in its early stage. However, with the advancement of technology, doctors have finally acquired the means to recognize lung cancer in its budding stage. Few of the symptoms that would help you deal with the menace in its nascent stage are noted below.
Signs & Symptoms of Lung Cancer
Coin Shaped Tumor
In the early stages of lung cancer, people fail to identify the symptoms. Patients find out about the anomaly only on a routine CT scan or chest X-ray. These tumors have a small coin shaped structure and thus often go undetected. However, once spotted in scans, make sure that you consult your physician.
As told earlier in this post, malignant tumors interfere with the breathing process and thus give rise to some of the other notable symptoms of lung cancer. These include shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing and coughing up blood (hemoptysis). In severe conditions it may lead to shoulder pain, paralysis of vocal chords causing hoarseness of voice and difficulty in swallowing food.
Lung cancer when goes out of control and spreads to the bones causes an excruciating pain. If the anomaly reaches brain, it may cause symptoms as prolonged headaches, blurred vision, stroke and even loss of sensation in certain parts of the body.
An in-depth study of lung cancer has revealed that the cancerous cells often produce certain hormones which bring in their own set of signs and symptoms. One of these hormones is the adrenocorticotrophic hormone which leads to over secretion of cortisol thus causing Cushing’s syndrome. Hence, any imbalance in the hormones should not be taken lightly and should rather be thoroughly investigated.
Nonspecific symptoms are the symptoms which are common for all types of cancer, including lung cancer. This includes weight loss, fatigue, mood swings and depression.Most of the times, people disregard the symptoms thinking them to be minor problems and go to the doctor only when their condition worsens. However, lung cancer can only be treated when it is still in its nascent stage and hence one should consult the doctor at the earliest. Persistent cough, blood in sputum, chest pain, repeated respiratory infections, shortness of breath, wheezing and unexplained weight loss are some of the common signs and symptoms of lung cancer which should not go unreported.