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Lung Cancer Symptoms

Lung cancer is one of most dangerous types of cancer that is responsible for millions of deaths every year. It is particularly dangerous because it tends to spread to other parts of the body at an early stage. Awareness about lung cancer is essential because if it is detected early, the treatment will be more effective and the chances of survival will be high.

Lung cancer develops when cells of the lungs divide and grow abnormally. Normally, the division and growth of cells is regulated by regulatory physiological mechanisms. However, this system can fail in some cases leading to formation of cancer.

When cells proliferate abnormally, they form a mass known as a tumor. Not all tumors are malignant. Begign tumors are not dangerous and can be removed by surgery. They do not spread to other parts of the body. However, malignant tumors such as lung cancer tumors spread to other parts of the body and multiply. This process is called metastasis.

Lung cancer tends to metastasize right from early stages. Cancer cells can spread to almost all parts of the body. However, certain organs such as the liver, adrenal glands, bone and brain are more prone to be affected. Cancers are difficult to treat once they metastasize. Due to the tendency of lung cancer to metastasize early, it is essential to detect early. This can be achieved only through awareness about the symptoms of lung cancer.

Here are the common symptoms of lung cancer:

  • Persistent cough that doen’t go away with treatment
  • Blood in sputum
  • Swelling in facial and neck regions
  • Pain in the chest region
  • Abnormal weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Pneumonia, bronchitis and other such infections
  • Change in voice
  • Fever that occurs for no apparent cause
  • Loss of appetite

If you have any of these symptoms, you should immediately approach your doctor. There are many other health conditions that can cause these symptoms as well.

After lung cancer metastasizes, symptoms such as brittle bones, persistent headaches, formation of blood clots, bleeding, pain in some area of the body, etc. may be observed. Some symptoms may not be observed until lung cancer has progressed to the fourth stage.

There are many causes of lung cancer. The most common cause of lung cancer is smoking. Studies reveal that nine out of ten cases of lung cancer would never have developed if the patient did not smoke.

Asbestos exposure is another known cause of lung cancer. Studies indicate that asbestos workers are seven times more likely to develop lung cancer when compared to the general population. Toxic chemicals, polluted air, lung inflammation, etc. are other risk factors. A family history of lung cancer also increases the risk of developing the disease.

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