When Should I See My Doctor
You should see your doctor right away if you have new symptoms that concern you, especially those listed above. This is particularly important if you have risk factors for lung cancer such as a history of lung disease, a family history of lung cancer or you are a smoker.
Less Common Signs And Symptoms
Less common signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:
- persistent coughing
- loss of appetite
If lung cancer has spread to other organs, you may have symptoms such as fractures if its spread to your bones or vision issues if its spread to your brain.
Lung cancer may cause groups of certain symptoms that are known as syndromes. Some of the most common are Horners syndrome, superior vena cava syndrome, and paraneoplastic syndrome.
Common Lung Cancer Symptoms
Often, when patients receive a lung cancer diagnosis, they have been experiencing symptoms such as persistent breathing difficulty, recurring respiratory infections or chest pain for a while. But the patient likely didnt realize these were symptoms of lung cancer, so they waited to see a doctor.
While every cough or case of bronchitis isnt a reason to believe you have lung cancer, if you are at high risk of developing lung cancer, paying attention to the early warning signs is critical, saysRussell Hales, M.D., a board-certified radiation oncologist and director of the multidisciplinary clinic at The Lung Cancer Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Common lung cancer symptoms include:
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What Can I Expect If I Have Lung Cancer
What to expect after a lung cancer diagnosis depends on many factors. For some with early stage cancer, your provider will remove the cancer and youll need follow up screenings for several years. For many others, its a process that evolves over time. It may mean doing one type of treatment until it stops being effective, then moving on to another type.
Symptoms Of Lung Cancer In Men And Females
Lung cancer is the type of cancer that basically caused by the mutation in the DNA.So, when the cells divide, they will also form the identical cells, so that it enables the body to renew itself. But, when there is the contaminants that could stimulate the cancer like smoke, the cells will begin to grow abnormally and uncontrollably, which then will cause you the cancer, particularly lung cancer.
So, you might wonder what are the symptoms of lung cancer. In the article below, we already provide you with the various symptoms of the lung cancer. Here are the common symptoms of the lung cancer.
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Do Women Get One Type Of Lung Cancer More Than Another
Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type among all genders accounting for about 85% of lung cancer cases. There are three main subtypes of non-small cell lung cancer.
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Large cell carcinoma
Studies show that more women are diagnosed with adenocarcinoma than men. Adenocarcinomas start in the cells that would normally secrete substances such as mucus and are found in the outer areas of the lung. Its also more likely to be found earlier before its spread too far.
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How Common Is Lung Cancer In Women
Cigarette smoking plays a role in approximately 8 out of 10 lung cancer deaths each year. So, reducing smoking or quitting smoking can make a significant difference in a womans lung cancer risk. And because the disease can grow and spread quickly in some cases, being alert for the signs of lung cancer in female smokers is important. This includes those who smoke cigarettes and marijuana, as both increase lung cancer risk.
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Lung Cancer Symptoms In Men
A man who gets a certain type of lung cancer will generally have the same symptoms as a woman who gets the same type. However, because men are more likely to get squamous cell lung cancer, they often exhibit symptoms more profoundly because that kind of tumor lodges itself within the airways rather than the outer edges of the lungs .
Common symptoms of squamous cell cancer include:
Although these same symptoms can occur with lung adenocarcinoma, many of the more tell-tale signs occur when the tumor has spread from the outer edges to the central airways.
With squamous cell carcinoma, these can occur even before the tumor has metastasized.
How Is Lung Cancer Treated
Medical specialists can treat lung cancer in different ways. The type of treatment a medical team recommends for you will depend on several factors including the type of cancer, its stage, your general health and the goal of treatment. The most suitable treatment will also depend on whether the cancer started in your lung or spread from another part of your body . In the case of a metastasis to the lung, the treatment is usually chosen based on the location of the primary cancer.
Types of cancer treatments can include:
- surgery, to cut out the cancer this includes a lobectomy where one lobe of a lung is removed, a pneumonectomy, where one whole lung is removed, or a wedge resection where only part of a lung is removed
- radiotherapy, which damages cancer cells and stops them dividing or spreading
- chemotherapy, which uses strong medicines to kill cancer cells
- targeted therapy, which uses medicine that attacks specific features of a cancer for example, certain genetic mutations
- immunotherapy, which helps your immune system see cancer cells and kill them
Your medical team may recommend one or a combination of these treatments, depending on your situation.
Cancer treatment may be given with the aim of removing all signs of cancer . In other cases, the goal may be to relieve symptoms and maximise quality of life without necessarily curing the cancer completely.
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Who Is At Risk For Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can affect anyone, but there are certain factors that raise your risk of getting it:
- Smoking. This is the most important risk factor for lung cancer. Tobacco smoking causes about 9 out of 10 cases of lung cancer in men and about 8 out of 10 cases of lung cancer in women. The earlier in life you start smoking, the longer you smoke, and the more cigarettes you smoke per day, the greater your risk of lung cancer. The risk is also greater if you smoke a lot and drink alcohol every day or take beta carotene supplements. If you have quit smoking, your risk will be lower than if you had kept smoking. But you will still have a higher risk than people who never smoked.
- Secondhand smoke, which is the combination of smoke that comes from a cigarette and smoke breathed out by a smoker. When you inhale it, you are exposed to the same cancer-causing agents as smokers, although in smaller amounts.
- Family history of lung cancer
- Being exposed to asbestos, arsenic, chromium, beryllium, nickel, soot, or tar in the workplace
- Swelling in the face and/or veins in the neck
How It Differs From Smokers
The symptoms of lung cancer in non-smokers may be different from those in people who smoke, and this isnt surprising, as the types of lung cancer often differ. Among never smokers, the early signs of lung cancer are often subtle and nonspecific, such as shortness of breath that is only present with activity or fatigue. For this reason, and because there isnt yet a screening test available for never smokers, lung cancers are frequently diagnosed in more advanced stages of the disease.
Understanding lung cancer symptoms in non-smokers has never been more important. At the current time, the majority of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not smoke . Former smokers account for the greatest number of cases, with roughly 20 percent of women diagnosed in the U.S. having never smoked. And unlike the recent drop in lung cancer cases overall, the incidence of lung cancer in never smokers is increasing especially in young women.
Signs And Symptoms Of Lung Cancer In Men
Reza Samad, MD, is a board-certified pulmonologist and assistant professor of medicine.
Common signs and symptoms of lung cancer in men include a worsening, long-term cough, as well as chest pain, shortness of breath, and fatigue. These occur as frequently as they do because they are all related to squamous cell carcinoma, the most common type of lung cancer in men.
Men and women who develop the same type of cancer will have similar symptoms. But since squamous cell carcinoma affects males more than females, there are differences in the most likely signs and symptoms of lung cancer amongst the sexes.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men. For this reason, it’s extremely important to understand how lung cancer symptoms and signs may specifically present in men so the disease can be caught early on, when it’s most treatable.
Paraneoplastic Syndromes And Lung Cancer
Sometimes, SCLC can cause paraneoplastic syndromes. While not always the case, these syndromes are often early signs of SCLC.
SCLC may cause one of these three paraneoplastic syndromes: Syndrome of Inappropriate Anti-Diuretic Hormone , Cushing Syndrome or Lambert-Eaton Syndrome. Symptoms of paraneoplastic syndromes include muscle cramps, muscle weakness, elevation of calcium in the blood and clubbing, which refers to a change in the shape of the finger tips.
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Can Lung Cancer Be Prevented
Avoiding the risk factors may help to prevent lung cancer:
- Quitting smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
- Lower your exposure to hazardous substances at work
- Lower your exposure to radon. Radon tests can show whether your home has high levels of radon. You can buy a test kit yourself or hire a professional to do the test.
NIH: National Cancer Institute
What Is Lung Cancer
Lung cancer is cancer that forms in tissues of the lung, usually in the cells that line the air passages. It is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women.
There are two main types: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. These two types grow differently and are treated differently. Non-small cell lung cancer is the more common type.
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What Are The Treatments For Lung Cancer
For most patients with lung cancer, current treatments do not cure the cancer.
Your treatment will depend on which type of lung cancer you have, how far it has spread, your overall health, and other factors. You may get more than one type of treatment.
The treatments for small cell lung cancer include:
- Laser therapy, which uses a laser beam to kill cancer cells
- Endoscopic stent placement. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument used to look at tissues inside the body. It may be used to put in a device called a stent. The stent helps to open an airway that has been blocked by abnormal tissue.
The treatments for non-small cell lung cancer include:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy, which uses drugs or other substances that attack specific cancer cells with less harm to normal cells
- Cryosurgery, which uses an instrument to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue
- Electrocautery, a treatment that uses a probe or needle heated by an electric current to destroy abnormal tissue
The Lung Cancer Centers At Ctca
Because lung cancer is often diagnosed after its progressed to an advanced stage, its important to turn to a clinical team with expertise to tailor a treatment plan specific to your tumor type, stage, genomic markers and other needs. Having a team of lung cancer experts collaborating daily, all under one roof, allows us to assemble a detailed treatment plan more quickly and more efficiently.
At the Lung Cancer Centers at each of our hospitals, our cancer experts are devoted to a single missiontreating lung cancer patients with compassion and precision. This singular focus enables our oncologists to stay up to date on new and emerging treatments and technologies, allowing us to help you make informed decisions about the options available to treat not just the disease but the side effects that may result. Clinical trials in immunotherapy, cryotherapy and other areas of innovation may be among the options available.
Each patients care team is led by a medical oncologist and coordinated by a nurse, who helps keep track of the various appointments, follows up on tests and answers questions that come up along the way. Your care team also may include a surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist, pathologist and interventional pulmonologist with specialized training in non-invasive procedures to help preserve lung function and reduce side effects.
Expert cancer care
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Superior Vena Cava Syndrome
The superior vena cava is a large vein that carries blood from the head and arms down to the heart. It passes next to the upper part of the right lung and the lymph nodes inside the chest. Tumors in this area can press on the SVC, which can cause the blood to back up in the veins. This can lead to swelling in the face, neck, arms, and upper chest . It can also cause headaches, dizziness, and a change in consciousness if it affects the brain. While SVC syndrome can develop gradually over time, in some cases it can become life-threatening, and needs to be treated right away.
Changes In Your Testicles
“If you notice a lump, heaviness, or any other change in your testicle, never delay having it looked at,” says Herbert Lepor, MD, urology chairman at New York University Langone Medical Center. “Unlike prostate cancer, which grows slowly, testicular cancer can take off overnight.” Your doctor will look for any problems with a physical exam, blood tests, and an ultrasound of your scrotum.
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Lung Cancer Sign: Multiple Pneumonias
Multiple bouts of pneumonia should raise a big red flag that something is up, says Dr. Flores. When cancer blocks the smaller airways in the lungs, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria to multiply, which can lead to an infection.
“Multiple pneumonias indicate Hey, there’s something blocking there, you’ve got to take a look,” says Dr. Flores.
Early Symptoms Of Lung Cancer
While other types of lung cancer often have no symptoms in the early stages, squamous cell carcinomas directly impact the airways. Early symptoms of this type of lung cancer may include persistent coughing and coughing up blood.
As the disease progresses, you may start to have symptoms such as:
- Worsening chronic cough with or without blood or mucus
- Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
- High levels of calcium in the blood
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Differences In Survival Between Women And Men
Theres been a gradual rise in lung cancer deaths among women as opposed to a gradual leveling off among men.
The American Lung Association reports that lung cancer rates have decreased by 36 percent in men over the last 42 years, but the rates in women have risen by 84 percent.
The American Cancer Society estimates that women account for around 49 percent of new lung cancer diagnoses in the United States.
Depending on the specifics of the diagnosis, the treatment for lung cancer for both women and men is usually:
- the median survival at 1 and 2 years was significantly higher in women
- the risk for death was 14 percent lower in women
- women respond better to chemotherapy than men
This is positive news for women, but women also encounter problems that men dont, including:
- a higher likelihood of developing small cell lung cancer, particularly for smokers
- having potential genetic mutations that can make tumor growth more aggressive
- less obvious early symptoms that can make detection more likely
Your Bones Feel Oddly Achy
If lung cancer has spread to other organs in your body, you may feel an ache deep down in your bones or joints, says Jack Jacoub, M.D., a medical oncologist and director of thoracic oncology at MemorialCare Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California. The back and hips are common sore spots.
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The Lung Cancer Institute At Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center
At theLung Cancer Institutein Livingston, NJ, we provide a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to lung cancer care. Our team of lung cancer specialists has experience in treating both early-stage and complex cases of lung cancer. Our goal is to provide each patient with a personalized treatment plan that matches their needs, and offers the lowest risk and highest chance of cure.
When To Call Your Doctor
If you have any of these symptoms of lung disease, especially an ongoing cough, blood-streaked mucus, wheezing, hoarseness, or a lung infection that keeps coming back, see your doctor. Youâll get a thorough checkup, and you may also get X-rays or other tests.
Go immediately to the emergency room if you have any of the following:
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Lung Cancer Screenings Are Recommended For People Who:
- Are between 50 to 80 years old and in good health,and
- Currently smoke or have quit smoking in the past 15 years,and
- Have at least a 20-pack-year smoking history.
Additionally, its important that people who are going to be screened:
- Receive counseling to quit smoking if they currently smoke,and
- Have been told by their doctor about the possible benefits, limits, and harms of screening with LDCT scans,and
Dr. Anthony Van Ho, an oncologist at Compass Oncology, discusses the importance of lung cancer awareness and how continued research has provided more understanding of the different types of lung cancer, screening, and treatment options.