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Warning Signs of Lung Cancer

Oct 24, 2022

Warning Signs of Lung Cancer
Cancer isn’t easy to talk about, but understanding the warning signs is an important step in getting prompt treatment. Here’s what you should know about lung cancer and its symptoms.

No two people are the same, which means no two people experience lung cancer the same way. However, there are important warning signs to look out for when it comes to lung cancer. 

Here, our team of expert oncologists at the Arizona Center for Cancer Care takes a closer look at lung cancer and a few common warning signs. With centers across Arizona, we’re here to support you or your loved one throughout your diagnosis and treatment journey. 

Signs you may have lung cancer

When it comes to detecting lung cancer, it’s important to know that many types of lung cancer don’t cause any symptoms at all until the disease has spread to other parts of your body. 

However, some people do notice symptoms in the early stages. When lung cancer produces symptoms, they can include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored phlegm
  • Chest pain that worsens with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
  • Unexplained hoarseness
  • Sudden loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Chronic infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia
  • Sudden onset of wheezing

If lung cancer has spread, you may notice symptoms that develop in other areas of your body, including:

  • Bone pain, particularly in the back or hips
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes

Advanced lung cancer may also impact your nervous system and cause headaches, weakness, numbness, dizziness, balance problems, and seizures.

Lung cancer syndromes

Some types of lung cancers trigger syndromes, which are groups of specific symptoms. Common lung cancer-related syndromes include:

Lung cancer can also lead to high levels of calcium in your blood, which manifests as frequent urination, thirst, constipation, nausea, vomiting, and other symt[toms. 

Risk factors for lung cancer

Many of these warning signs can be caused by something other than cancer, making it difficult to know for sure what’s causing your symptoms. For that reason, we want all our patients to understand their overall risk for lung cancer.

You can control certain lung cancer risk factors, such as smoking and exposure to radon, asbestos, and other harmful substances. But some risk factors you can’t change, including:

  • Air pollution
  • Previous radiation therapy to your lungs
  • Family history of lung cancer

By now, most people know the risks of smoking cigarettes. Unfortunately, some people put themselves at risk for lung cancer without realizing it. Some people consider marijuana, e-cigarettes, and vapes a safer form of smoking. Though little research has been done on these substances, these may still contain certain cancer-causing substances.

Lung cancer treatment options

If you think you’re at risk for lung cancer or suspect you have lung cancer, it’s important that you talk to our team as soon as possible. We conduct a thorough review of your health history and symptoms to determine whether lung cancer is present. 

We also use imaging tests, biopsies, and other screening tools to accurately diagnose lung cancer. From there, we create a treatment plan that addresses your exact needs. Depending on the stage of your lung cancer, we may recommend the following:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Palliative care

Don’t spend another day wondering about lung cancer. Request an appointment online or over the phone at any one of our conveniently located offices today.