Early Signs of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer may not produce any noticeable symptoms in the early stages. In approximately 40 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer, the diagnosis is made after the disease has advanced. In one-third of those diagnosed, the cancer has reached stage 3.

Read on to learn more about lung cancer symptoms, what to watch out and listen for, and how early screening may help people at high risk for the disease.

signs of lung cancer

Cough that won’t quit

Be on alert for a new cough that lingers. A cough associated with a cold or respiratory infection will go away in a week or two, but a persistent cough that lingers can be a symptom of lung cancer. Don’t be tempted to dismiss a stubborn cough, whether it is dry or produces mucus. See your doctor right away. They will listen to your lungs and may order an X-ray or other tests.

Change in a cough

Pay attention to any changes in a chronic cough, particularly if you are a smoker. If you are coughing more often, your cough is deeper or has hoarse sound, or you are coughing up blood or more mucus than usual, it’s time to make a doctor’s appointment. If a family member or friend experiences these changes, suggest that they visit their doctor.

Breathing changes

Shortness of breath or becoming easily winded can also be possible symptoms of lung cancer. Changes in breathing can occur if lung cancer blocks or narrows an airway, or if fluid from a lung tumor builds up in the chest.

Make a point of noticing when you feel winded or short of breath. If you find it’s difficult to breath after climbing stairs or performing tasks you could do before without having a hard time breathing, don’t ignore it.

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