Lung Cancer Symptoms

One reason lung cancer is so dangerous, because lung cancer symptoms are vague and often not serious until the cancer is in the later stages. Lung cancer is a major cause of cancer deaths in women and men both in the United States and worldwide. Lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.

Up to one quarter of all people with lung cancer have no symptoms when the cancer is diagnosed. These cancers usually are identified incidentally when a chest X-ray is performed for another reason. The majority of people, however, develop symptoms. The symptoms are due to the direct consequences of the primary tumor, the effects of metastatic tumors in other parts of the body, or to disturbances of hormones, blood, or other systems caused by cancer.

Cancer cells derived from lung is called a primary lung cancer. Primary lung cancer can start in the airways that branch from the trachea to the lungs delivery (the bronchi) or in the small air sacs of the lungs (the alveoli). Cancer can also (metastasize) spread to the lungs from other parts of the body (usually from the breast, colon, prostate, kidney, thyroid, stomach, cervix, rectum, testes, bone or skin).

Lung cancer often spreads to the liver, adrenal glands, bones and brains. Metastatic lung cancer in the liver usually does not cause symptoms, at least until the time of diagnosis. Metastatic lung cancer in the adrenal glands also typically causes no symptoms. Metastasis to the bones is most common with small cell lung cancers, but also comes with other types of lung cancer. Lung cancer that has spread to the bone causes bone pain, usually in the backbone (vertebrae), the thighs, and ribs. Lung cancer that spreads to the brains can cause problems with vision, weakness on one side of the body, and / or seizures.

Lung cancer symptoms and the location of the tumor
Symptoms of lung cancer are varied depending on the exact location of the tumor and the extent of its spread. A person with lung cancer symptoms, the following types:

No symptoms - Up to 25% of people who get lung cancer have no symptoms when the cancer is found. In these cases, the cancer was first discovered on a routine chest x-ray or CT scan.

Symptoms related to cancer - The growth of the cancer and the invasion of the lungs and surrounding areas can interfere with breathing, leading to symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pain and coughing up blood (hemoptysis). If the cancer has invaded nerves, for example, pain in the shoulder that travels down the outside of the arm (called Pancoast Syndrome) or paralysis of the vocal cords resulting in hoarseness cause. Invasion of the esophagus can cause difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). If a large airway is blocked, it can collapse a part of the action and lung infections (abscesses, pneumonia) in the obstructed area.

Symptoms associated with metastasis (spread to other organs) - Lung cancer that has spread to the bones can cause excruciating pain at the sites of bone involvement. Cancer that has spread to the brains can cause a number of neurological symptoms may include blurred vision, headaches, seizures, or symptoms of a stroke.

Paraneoplastic symptoms - lung cancer are often accompanied by the so-called paraneoplastic syndromes that result from the production of hormone-like substances by the tumor cells. A common paraneoplastic syndrome associated with a type of lung cancer is the production of the hormone Adrenocortico Trophic Hormone by the cancer cells, leading to oversecretion of the hormone cortisol by the adrenal glands (Cushing syndrome).