What Are the Common Signs of Lung Cancer?

In 2018 alone, an estimated 234,030 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in the U.S. Unfortunately, many of those cases won’t be caught until the cancer has already progressed to an advanced stage, making treatment much harder. That’s why RCCA is dedicated to making sure people know the early signs and symptoms of lung cancer — especially if you’re a smoker or know someone who is.

If you suspect you might have lung cancer, don’t wait. Make an appointment at your doctor’s office to get your symptoms checked out.

Common Symptoms

It’s normal for people not to have any signs of lung cancer at first. Also, symptoms are usually the same for both men and women, but every individual is different. For example, one person may experience all of these, while another only has one or two symptoms.

In addition, there are several different types of lung cancer, including the most common, adenocarcinoma. But, in general, the initial symptoms will be the same for all types. Here are some of the most common symptoms of lung cancer:

  • Lingering cough that lasts more than two weeks (dry or mucous)
  • A chronic cough that suddenly becomes deeper or sounds hoarse
  • A chronic cough that happens more frequently than normal
  • A chronic cough that produces an unusual amount of mucus
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shortness of breath after doing activities you’d normally do just fine
  • Unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more
  • Wheezing or whistling sounds
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Body pain
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever that comes and goes
  • Recurrent respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis
  • Pain in the chest, shoulders and/or back
  • Raspy, hoarse voice that lasts more than two weeks

High-risk Groups

Be sure to pay close attention to the symptoms if you have an increased risk. You’re more likely to develop lung cancer if any of the following applies to you:

  • Smoking history of at least 30 packs of cigarettes a year and currently smoke
  • 55 to 80 years old
  • Smoked in the last 15 years
  • Exposed to asbestos, smoke or radon
  • Exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Family history of lung cancer
  • Unhealthy diet

Remember, even non-smokers are still susceptible to lung cancer — especially women. For more information about lung cancer or to schedule an appointment with your nearest RCCA office, contact us today.