• What are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer?

What are the Early Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer?

As the name implies, lung cancer develops in the lungs. The lungs are a pair of soft, primary organs of respiration in your chest that absorb oxygen and emit carbon dioxide. Even with advances in treatment, it is still a predominant cause of cancer related deaths in our country. Lung cancer is more common among smokers, although nonsmokers are not immune to the disease. Possible signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • New, persistent cough.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Expelling any quantity of blood while coughing.
  • Weakness or soreness in the chest.
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Hoarseness.
  • Headache.
  • Experiencing severe bone ache.

What is lung cancer?

Cancer is a disease characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of cells. Lung cancer is a kind of cancer that begins in the lungs, but it may spread to other parts of the body or even the brain.,Also, the lungs are a common target for cancers that have migrated from elsewhere in the body which is called metastatic lung involvement.. Metastases are formed when cancer cells go to a new organ.

Generally speaking, there are two significant categories of lung cancer: small cell and non-small cell. It's important to differentiate between these subtypes of lung cancer because they develop and respond to treatment in distinctive ways. For example, cancer of the non-small airways is more prevalent than cancer of the small airways.

Symptoms and Causes of Lung Cancer

The first signs of lung cancer are easily confused with those of other, less severe conditions. Some individuals get symptoms at an early stage of the illness, while others may not experience them until the disease has progressed significantly. Just one or a few of these may be present for those who do have signs and symptoms of lung cancer:

A cough that won't quit or change

A persistent cough is one of the common lung cancer symptoms regardless of the specific stage of lung cancer. However, a cough is a common sign of some types of lung cancer because the malignant cells block the airways in your lungs.

Coughing is often connected with squamous cell carcinoma and small cell undifferentiated lung cancer. However, a cough is not always present in early lung cancer. Your doctor will likely inquire about your health and smoking habits to understand what could be causing your cough.

Tummy Troubles

If your cancer has gone to your liver, you may have one or more of the following signs of lung cancer: discomfort or pain on the right side of your belly, feeling ill, having a poor appetite and losing weight, and having a bloated tummy.

Back or Shoulder Pain

Shoulder discomfort or weakness are common lung cancer symptoms. Whether due to local pressure from a lung tumor or metastasis to the bones in and around the shoulder, shoulder discomfort is a possible symptom of lung cancer. Furthermore, there are other conditions, including arthritis that may cause shoulder discomfort that isn't connected to cancer at all.


Wheezing is characterized by a high-pitched whistling sound on the inhale or exhale. A blockage causes it in the airways that prevent normal breathing. Wheezing often indicates asthma, but a lung tumor might also cause it. You should see a doctor if you have recently developed audible wheezing, especially if it is accompanied by other lung related symptoms such as shortness of breath

Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)

Hemoptysis is the medical term for coughing up blood from the lungs. As such, it is among the common lung tumor symptoms that is often experienced. However, there is no correlation between the presence of blood in the phlegm and a more advanced stage of lung cancer.

However, lungs pain symptoms often manifest only in the late stages of the illness. Aside from the cancer stage, your doctor has diagnosed you with, coughing up blood is not a predictor of survival.


Voice is produced when the vocal cords vibrate back and forth when you open and close your mouth. If your lung cancer affects your laryngeal nerve, your voice may alter or become hoarse. Hoarseness may be caused by several medical issues, the most frequent of which is laryngitis. Hoarseness that persists for longer than two weeks warrants medical attention.

Loss of appetite

Before a lung cancer diagnosis, some patients lose their appetite and become underweight. These signs and advanced lung cancer symptoms may originate from the illness or other related conditions, such as nausea, trouble swallowing, shortness of breath, or depression

The body's response to cancer therapy, the risk of infection, and the likelihood of recovery may all be impacted by a person's weight. Anyone, regardless of physique, is susceptible to this. Eating healthily can enhance your quality of life by making it easier for you to deal with the stresses of daily life, treatment, and side effects.

Changes in Nervous system

In some cases, if the cancer has spread to the brain it can show symptoms like headaches,weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures.

Superior Vena Cava Syndrome

SVC is a large vein that carries blood from the head and arms down to the heart. A tumour in this area can compress the SVC and cause swelling on the face, arms, neck, upper chest, or colour changes in these areas. Headaches and dizziness are also evident in such patients.

Paraneoplastic Syndrome

Paraneoplastic syndromes are disorders that happen in your immune system as a result of the growth of cancerous tumours in your body. Loss of muscle coordination, loss of balance, and difficulty walking are some of the most common signs shown in these cases.

Are symptoms of lung cancer different for men or women?

Both men and women have an increased risk of developing several subtypes of lung cancer, each of which might be accompanied by a unique set of symptoms. Lung cancers that manifest in the central airways of the lungs are more prevalent in men than in women. Men are more prone to get these tumors in view of more prevalence of smoking. They may have a more significant number of symptoms, such as coughing and trouble breathing.

Early signs of lung cancer, such as weariness and discomfort in the back or shoulders, may alternatively be experienced by women who develop cancer in another portion of the lungs. There are also a few uncommon disorders that are associated with it. However, some of them are more prevalent in males than in women.


Talk to your doctor about getting an LDCT scan if you have any of the above symptoms or fall into the high-risk category. Most lung cancer cases are detected at advanced stages 3 or 4, affecting around 75% of patients. So it could be a good idea to be screened with LDCT. At Apollo Hospital, proton therapy is being used to treat lung cancer, and this is just one of several promising new approaches. Depending on the stage, other modalities of treatment like surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy form integral part of management of ling cancers.

Although lung cancer is deadly, researchers are always looking for better ways to treat it. The best way to find answers to your questions and doubts related to lung cancer is to discuss with a medical professional.