Lung cancer is the third most common form of cancer in patients in the United States, behind breast cancer for women and prostate cancer for men. In fact, of the many different types of cancer, lung cancer is one of the deadliest forms. More people die of lung cancer than any other type, which is why it’s so important to recognize the symptoms as early as possible. Read on for a list of 15 early symptoms of lung cancer so you know what to look for.
1. Persistent Cough
A nagging cough can be a sign of many things, but constant coughing is not something to ignore. If you experience ongoing dry coughing that doesn’t seem to improve, it’s best to get tested right away. If your cough is producing mucus, look for orange, red, or brown colors. This may indicate the presence of blood in your lungs or saliva and means that you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
2. Shortness of Breath
Feeling short of breath is one of the first signs of possible lung cancer. If you feel weak or out of breath easily after mild activity, it may be time to see your doctor. While shortness of breath is also commonly associated with other health issues like asthma or allergies, it’s also a sign that you may potentially have lung cancer if it comes out of nowhere or is a constant problem.
3. Sudden or Rapid Weight Loss
If you suddenly notice a significant amount of weight loss, it’s a good idea to get this checked out. While some weight loss can be a result of a healthier diet or more exercise, unexplained, rapid weight loss may signify that something is wrong. One sign of lung cancer includes a decrease or lack of appetite, which may also explain why patients lose weight so quickly in the early stages without being formally diagnosed.
4. Intense or Constant Pain
Those experiencing persistent pain in the back or chest may potentially have lung cancer. If this pain continues or gets worse over time, it’s certainly time to visit a doctor to find out the cause. Many lung cancer patients complain about pain in the upper back, neck, or shoulders, too. Pay attention to how your body feels and if something is wrong, it’s always best to get checked out right away just to confirm.
5. Muscle Weakness
Muscle weakness isn’t always a sign of cancer, but it is a common problem that many cancer patients experience. If you’re suddenly feeling weak or getting tired more easily than usual, it could be a signal or sign of early-stage lung cancer. Regardless of the reason why you’re suddenly feeling weak, constant fatigue of the muscles is not something that you should take lightly. A blood test can help determine the cause in many cases.
Continue reading on the next page to discover the 10 other early signs of lung cancer.