Often Overlooked Lung Cancer Symptoms
Lung cancer is a disease that does not often cause any symptoms in the early stages. With all cancers, early detection will improve the treatment outcomes, but they signs of lung cancer may go overlooked. One of the most common contributing factors of lung cancer is cigarette smoking. These have come with cancer warnings since the middle of the last century. Some symptoms that indicate the onset of lung cancer include a persistent cough that worsens.
Additional symptoms may include blood in the sputum, hoarseness, weight loss, and chest pain that worsens when taking deep breaths. The following lesser known symptoms may be confusing, but are related to lung cancer:
1. Upper back and shoulder pain
Upper back or shoulder pain are uncommon symptoms of lung cancer that may go unnoticed. Pain in the shoulder can come from pressure from a tumor on the phrenic nerve inside the lungs, or it can relate to the spread of the cancer to the bones and joints. A type of cancer called pancoast tumors grow in the lung’s upper region, and spread to tissues in the shoulder.
2. Facial swelling
Swelling in the face and neck can be the result of tumors that put pressure of blood vessels where fluids can not travel efficiently through the body, and build up causing the swelling.
3. Frequent and recurring lung infections
Lung infections and frequent pneumonia are two things that a person with lung cancer is at risk of having. Frequent pneumonia could cause a delay in the diagnosis of lung cancer because the symptoms overlap. Close attention should be given to lung infections that do not resolve themselves after being properly treated.
Breast development in males is a very uncommon factor of lung cancer, but sometimes the symptoms will occur in certain areas of the body that have not been affected by the cancer. These symptoms are called paraneoplastic syndromes in patients with lung cancer. This excess growth in the breast of men is known as gynecomastia. This is an early sign of lung cancer which could lead to an early diagnosis of small-cell lung cancer, or other types of the disease.
5. Mental health issues
Depression and anxiety are common in people with lung cancer, and could be one of the most uncommon symptoms of the disease. These are surprising lung cancer symptoms that may go overlooked. Lung cancer is usually not detected while in the earliest stage, so anxiety and depression could be part of the symptoms that go unnoticed as relating to the disease. A doctor should be seen when these mental issues become a problem. They could lead to lung cancer being detected before it gets to the final stages.
Lung cancer is one of those diseases that has many surprising lung cancer symptoms. From small-cell lung cancer, pancoast tumor, and the many other forms of cancer, getting diagnosed as early as possible could be most beneficial to treatment outcomes. Be aware of the symptoms that are noticeable, and any that may not seem related. Pay close attention to even the most vague of health concerns.