Common Signs And Symptoms Of Lung Cancer

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Lung cancer is the number one cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. The American Cancer Society estimates 228,000 new cases of lung cancer in the United States in 2019, with over 142,000 deaths due to the disease. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer, and this includes the smoking of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Both smokers and non-smokers can develop lung cancer when exposed to tobacco smoke, hazardous substances, and environmental pollutants.
Lung cancer was not common before the 1930s, but the number of cases of the disease grew over the following decades with the increasing popularity of cigarette smoking. While the incidence of lung cancer is starting to fall in developing countries, with public education about the adverse effects of smoking and the implementation of smoke-free policies, lung cancer remains the leading cause of death due to the disease in the United States and worldwide.
The symptoms of lung cancer vary, depending on the type, location, and extent of the tumor, and while the early signs of lung cancer may not be easy to identify, here are some of the most common symptoms of the disease.

Early Symptoms Of Lung Cancer

The warning signs of lung cancer may not always be present since some symptoms don’t manifest until the disease has advanced. This is partly because lungs have few nerve endings, allowing tumors to grow without causing any pain or other cancer-related symptoms. In fact, up to 25% of people with lung cancer only discover the disease as a white spot that looks like a coin during a routine chest x-ray or CT scan. Usually, these patients with small, solitary tumors report no symptoms at the time they first learn they have cancer.
When lung cancer does show symptoms in its early stages, it may be a slight, persistent cough or shortness of breath, depending on the part of the lung affected. Other signs include wheezing, hoarseness in your voice, chest pain, back pain, and headaches. These symptoms may become more intense or severe as the cancer develops. There may also be non-specific symptoms, such as fatigue and unintentional weight loss.