Lung Cancer Symptoms That are Often Overlooked
Lung cancer is a deadly disease that affects millions of people worldwide. While some of its symptoms are well-known, such as coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pain, others are often overlooked, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment. In recent years, clinical trials have led to the development of new treatments such as RET inhibitors like Gavreto (Pralsetinib) and Zepzelca as well as immunotherapies like OPDIVO. Additionally, portable oxygen concentrators have become a popular option for managing lung cancer symptoms. Some of the latest treatments available include ALECENSA, Bevacizumab, and Cyramza (Ramucirumab). Here are some of the lesser known lung cancer symptoms:
1. Hoarseness or voice changes
Hoarseness or changes in the voice are often overlooked as a symptom of lung cancer, but they can occur when a tumor presses on the vocal cords. This symptom can affect a person’s ability to communicate effectively, impacting their work and personal life. Unfortunately, hoarseness is often attributed to other causes like allergies, colds, or acid reflux, leading to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
2. Unexplained weight loss
While weight loss is a common symptom of many cancers, it can also occur in people with lung cancer. Unfortunately, many people attribute weight loss to other causes, like stress or a change in diet, and don’t seek medical attention until the cancer has progressed. Unexplained weight loss can be a sign of advanced lung cancer, where the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
3. Blood clots
Blood clots are often associated with deep vein thrombosis or DVT, but they can also occur in people with lung cancer. These clots can cause swelling and pain in the legs, and in severe cases, they can travel to the lungs, causing a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism. Blood clots are often overlooked as a symptom of lung cancer because they can be attributed to other causes, such as a recent surgery or injury.
Clubbing is a condition where the fingers and toes become wider and rounder. It occurs when there is an inadequate supply of oxygen to the body’s tissues, often caused by lung cancer. Clubbing is overlooked as a symptom of lung cancer because it can be difficult to detect in the early stages of the disease. However, early detection is crucial as it can lead to earlier treatment and better outcomes.
Fatigue is a common symptom of many diseases, including lung cancer. However, it is often overlooked as a symptom of lung cancer because it is associated with many other conditions, including stress, lack of sleep, or even aging. Fatigue can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, making it difficult to carry out daily activities and affecting their work and personal life.
Treatments for Lung Cancer to Consider
If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, there are various treatments available to help manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Some treatments may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. Immunotherapies like OPDIVO and targeted therapies like ALECENSA, Bevacizumab, and Cyramza (Ramucirumab) can be used to treat specific types of lung cancer. Additionally, portable oxygen concentrators can help manage breathing difficulties caused by lung cancer. There are also newer treatments such as Pralsetinib that can help. If you are diagnosed with lung cancer, it’s essential to work with your healthcare team to determine the best treatment plan for you.