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Identify Lung Cancer Symptoms

Recognizing Early Symptoms
1. See a doctor if you have a persistent cough

One of the most common symptoms of lung cancer is a cough that does not go away. See a doctor if your cough lasts more than two weeks, if it increases in intensity over time, or if you cough up blood (this is called hemoptysis) or a lot of phlegm.

  • Ironically, smokers, who have the highest risk of lung cancer, tend to cough a lot and, consequently, do not seek treatment for this most common symptom. If you smoke, be aware of any changes in your cough, and meet with your doctor regularly. Consider getting checked for lung cancer every couple of months
  • You?ll also want to note any changes in the character of the cough. You should be worried if, for example, a dry cough suddenly starts producing a lot of sputum. Likewise, you should be worried if the color of your sputum changes. In particular, keep an eye out for chocolatey brown, black, or greenish sputum.
2. Watch for any problems with your breathing

Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is a common symptom of lung cancer, but it is often attributed to obesity, old age, or weather changes. See a physician if you are having trouble breathing, especially if your shortness of breath occurs outside of any strenuous activity.

  • In some cases, a lung cancer patient will feel back pain that worsens the deeper that they breathe in
3. Do not dismiss aches and pains

Dull and persistent aching in your chest, shoulders, or arms could be an early symptom of lung cancer. This discomfort might progress to include tingling, numbness, and even paralysis.

4. Investigate recurrent airway infections

If you have multiple episodes of bronchitis or pneumonia, talk to your doctor about the possibility of cancer. Tumors can obstruct your airways and make you prone to these kinds of infections

5. Look for a loss of appetite..

Lung cancer, like other cancers, can cause a loss of appetite. If you notice your appetite has diminished, make an appointment with your doctor.

6. Pay attention to your weight

Cancer cells use an inordinate amount of your body?s energy and can affect your metabolism, leading to weight loss. This is sometimes exacerbated by the loss of appetite some patients experience. If you lose ten pounds suddenly or without dieting, consult a doctor.

7. Be aware of fatigue

All cancers can produce fatigue, but the symptom is so vague that it does not always prompt people to seek treatment. If you have risk factors for lung cancer or have any other symptoms, or if your fatigue is pronounced, see your doctor immediately.

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