Oncologists Explain 13 Lung Cancer Symptoms to Never Ignore

Oncologists Explain 13 Lung Cancer Symptoms to Never Ignore

lung cancer symptomsHealth

Knowing the key lung cancer symptoms can save your life.

Lung cancer is one of the most severe types of malignant cells to form in the body, and according to the American Cancer Society, there are 235,760 new cases diagnosed each year. Additionally, more than 131,880 deaths occur from this malignancy annually. Sadly, it’s the leading cause of death among cancer in the world.

The lungs are like sponges that draw in air and release any of the carbon dioxides you inhale. These vital organs provide the breath of life, so, understandably, those who have compromised lungs have trouble breathing. The most significant risk of developing lung cancer comes from smoking cigarettes.

However, there are many people with this malignancy that have never smoked a day in their life. Those who smoked and quit decrease their chances of this cancer; however, the risk remains as some damage to the lungs is permanent.

Thirteen Key Lung Cancer Symptoms

lung cancer symptomsAs with many other forms of cancer, it may be undetectable at first. In the initial stages, a person may feel they have bronchitis or a severe cold that’s lingering. However, once the condition progresses, it becomes hard to breathe and makes things like walking around the house unbearable.

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Some folks may mistake lung cancer with asthma or other conditions like COPD. Anytime you have difficulty breathing, it’s essential to get help. Here are the most observed symptoms by oncologists worldwide.

1. Coughing up blood

2. Chest pain

3. Cough or cold that won’t go away

4. Chronic Headaches

5. Pain deep in the bones

6. Weight loss

7. Shortness of breath

8. Hoarseness in your voice

9. Muscle weakness

10. Nausea and vomiting

11. Elevated levels of blood pressure or glucose

12. Confusion or changes in mood

13. Seizures

The Causes of Lung Cancer

Smoking cigarettes is the number one cause of lung cancer, but it’s possible to develop this condition without smoking. For smokers, inhaling the carcinogens found in cigarettes does damage to the tissues of the lungs. The body’s defense system works hard to fight these toxins, repairing some of the damage.

The problem is that when a person smokes continuously, the body is unable to repair the massive amount of injury that occurs. Thus, healthy cells turn malignant and begin to grow. Smoking is not the only way you can develop this type of cancer.

•Radon or Radioactive Gas

Another primary concern for the lungs is inhaling a radioactive gas known as radon. Radon can be found in homes and businesses across the world. It seeps into these dwellings through tiny holes.

Radon can be found naturally in the earth, and since it’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless, you can be exposed without knowing. Once genetic mutation begins, the chances of a person developing lung cancer increase.

•Asbestos

Lastly, asbestos is another common cause of lung cancer. Asbestos was often used as an insulator to many buildings before the 1990s. Since this is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral, no one thought it was a problem to use it for its protective properties.

However, the asbestos lung is where a person has been exposed and has compromised breathing, but it can quickly turn into cancer.

•Other Heavy Metals

Cadmium and selenium are also heavy metals that can increase the chances of developing this malignancy, but it’s not as prevalent as other exposure methods.

•Untraceable

Sadly, there may be no traceable way that a person develops lung cancer, so the problem remains a mystery. Oncologists see many cases where side stream or second-hand smoke causes tumors, and the American Cancer Society validates that just being around someone who smokes exposes a person to 70 dangerous toxins.

Understanding the Types of Lung Malignancies

cancer survivors quotesWhen lung cancer develops, it’s scary, and you question whether you will live and what your quality of life will be if you survive. The medical community divides this cancer into two categories, and understanding these classifications will help you better prepare for the future.

Oncologists identify the type of cancer you have by looking at the cells under a microscope. Small cell or large cell cancer is treated differently.

•Small Cell

Oncologists observe small cell lung cancer in those who have smoked for years and did so heavily. Though it’s not as common as non-small cell, it tends to be more serious, and the prognosis is grim.

The American Cancer Society states that only 60 percent of individuals with this cancer will make it past the five-year mark, and only about ten percent will recover. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is a mere 14-20 months. You must stop smoking, and if you need help, there are many cessation programs that can assist you in quitting.

•Non-Small Cell

Non-small cell lung cancer is an umbrella term that contains several subcategories within it. While it’s not as severe as a small cell cancer, it certainly still brings about major issues and lung cancer symptoms. The categories within this section are:

•Squamous cell carcinoma

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•Adenocarcinoma

•Large cell carcinoma

The treatment options for the lung cancer symptoms associated with non-small cells are often easier to care for. While it’s still a severe condition, it’s possible to recover. The goal is to slow or stop the progression and make breathing easier.

The key in treatment is identifying the stage of the malignancy as well as how far it has spread. Some cancers can be removed if caught before they metastasize.

Complications of Lung Cancer

As the malignancy progresses, the lung cancer symptoms will intensify. Additionally, there can be further complications that result from cancer spreading to other parts of the body. The most common complications are as follows.

• Reduced Lung Function

As cancer progresses, blockages may occur in the airways. Cancer cells can grow in the bronchial tubes making breathing a challenge. Pleural effusion is also a concern.

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