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Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Often people with lung cancer have no (or vague) symptoms until the disease has progressed outside of the lungs.  The lungs have very few nerve endings so a tumor may be present without discomfort.  As a result, a very small percentage (approx. 15%) are only caught at the earliest stage when they are the most treatable. When symptoms are present, they are different in each person, but may include:

  • cough that doesn't go away and gets worse over time

  • Hoarseness

  • Shortness of breath or wheezing

  • Frequent lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia

  • Coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum 

  • Chest pain that is often worse with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing

  • Loss of appetite

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Feeling tired or weak

If lung cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it may cause:

  • Bone pain (like pain in the back or hips)

  • Nervous system changes such as headache, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

  • Swelling of lymph nodes (collection of immune system cells) such as those in the neck or above the collarbone

I would like to add links on this page to more detailed sites that have really good information but not sure yet how this will be formatted.  Can we add a side bar or somewhere a place for additional information where I can list a few sites?

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