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Lung cancer: Signs and symptoms to look out for

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Lung cancer is a very serious type of cancer, as it often goes undiagnosed until its later stages, which makes it even more difficult to treat. You should speak to a doctor straight away if you’re worried about the signs of lung cancer.

It’s one of the most common and serious types of cancer, and almost 50,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year in the UK.

One of the most common signs of the condition is having a cough that won’t go away.

But the symptoms of lung cancer don’t often appear until it’s spread to other parts of the body.

Patients subsequently develop a number of signs which they may not think is caused by the disease.

Back pain

Back or shoulder pain is a very common symptom of lung cancer.

It’s usually caused by a specific type of lung cancer, known as a Pancoast tumour.

These cancers grow in the upper part of the lungs, and subsequently spreads to either the ribs, nerves or spine.

If lung cancer is causing your back pain, you’ll most likely feel an achy pain at the top of your back.


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About 15 percent of all lung cancer patients have too much calcium in their body – a condition known as hypercalcaemia.

It often leads to stomach pain or nausea, generic zovirax from india without prescription and patients often avoid eating or drinking.

Constipation is another sign of hypercalcaemia, and might be linked to lung cancer.

Your constipation may be accompanied by persistent cramping or unexplained nausea.

Balance problems

Lung cancer could have an impact on your nervous system, which is essential for balance.

“Small-cell lung cancers may tell your immune system to attack your nervous system, which can in turn affect how your muscles work,” said medical website WebMD.

“It may be hard to stand up when you’re sitting, or you might feel unsteady.

“You could be dizzy from anaemia or from a backup in your superior vena cava, the large vein that moves blood from your head to your heart, if it’s crowded by a tumour in the upper right lung.”

Swollen face

Some lung cancer patients may find that their face, neck or arms appear more puffy than normal.

It’s caused by the vena cava becoming blocked by a tumour, and therefore blood doesn’t have anywhere to go.

As a result, the face starts to swell from the extra fluid that’s waiting to get through the large vein.

Some patients also develop a blue-red skin colour on their chest.

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