Up to one-fourth of all people with lung cancer may 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. Most lung tumors are malignant.
This means that they invade and destroy the healthy tissues around them and can spread throughout the body. Sometimes, however, this orderly system is disrupted and cells divide and proliferate in an uncontrolled manner. They form an abnormal mass referred to as a tumor. Although not all tumors are malignant, those that give rise to lung cancer symptoms are. Symptoms include the following: clubbing of fingers, new bone formation, anemia, other effects such muscle weakness, skin rashes, and degeneration of the brain, weight loss, fatigue, low sodium levels.
Remember, this is not a comprehensive list and is only indicative of the many lung cancer symptoms found in a wide cross section of patients.
• Swelling in the facial and neck region
• A persistent chough that does not respond to treatment
• Blood in sputum / spit with a brownish tinge
• Pain in the chest region
• Sudden, significant drop in weight that isn’t the result of dieting or exercise
• Shortness of breath
• Inexplicable fatigue
• Recurring bouts of pneumonia, bronchitis and other such infections
• Change in voice quality / hoarseness that persists
• Fever that occurs for no apparent cause
• Loss of appetite
These symptoms can also be due to other, less serious conditions, so it is important to talk to your health care provider. If they are serious, you’ve got everything to gain. Diagnosis at an early stage could save your life. The majority of people, however, develop symptoms. The symptoms are due to direct effects of the primary tumor, to effects of metastatic tumors in other parts of the body, or to disturbances of hormones, blood, or other systems caused by the cancer. Symptoms of metastatic lung tumors depend on the location and size. About 30%-40% of people with lung cancer have some symptoms or signs of metastatic disease.