Saturday, May 21

Lung cancer: what are the possible symptoms?

Lung cancer remains one of the deadliest cancers in France according to the National Cancer Institute. Here are the different symptoms that can be observed with this disease.

There are types of symptoms that are, however, “not specific to lung cancer and may have other causes,” as clarified. the National Cancer Institute. However, the most frequent symptoms are: the appearance of a cough or even an intensification of a chronic bronchitis cough, hemoptysis which results in coughing up blood, the appearance or aggravation of difficulty in breathing, repeated lung infection, significant acute or chronic pain similar to muscle tearing or rheumatism, unusual and persistent fatigue, and finally loss of appetite and weight.

With regard to less common symptoms, the National Cancer Institute warns of: a change or loss of voice, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing related to pleurisy or the presence fluid between the two layers of the pleura, chest pain related to pericarditis, and drooping or weakness of the eyelid of one eye or narrowing of the pupil of the same eye called Claude-Bernard Horner syndrome. Another possible symptom: edema of the face and neck accompanied by headaches and visible veins on the upper part of the thorax caused by compression of the superior vena cava, this is the superior cava syndrome.

And finally, among the rarer symptoms, the Pancoast Tobias syndrome which can reveal a tumor at the top of the lung (the apex) is observed through pain from the neck to the arm accompanied by Claude-Bernard Horner syndrome .

“Paraneoplastic syndromes”

You should also be aware that it is possible to have physical changes that are not directly related to the lungs. These symptoms called “paraneoplastic syndromes” can occur at the same time.

Among them: water retention, mental disorders, high blood pressure, weight gain, loss of balance, irregular movements of the arms and legs due to neurological disorders, feeling of muscle weakness, symptoms linked to too high a level of calcium in the blood, signs of venous thrombosis, an increase in the volume of the fingertips and nails, or even the joints of the feet and hands which can be painful.

Because of the symptoms that are not specific to lung cancer, it is often difficult to establish an early diagnosis, although this can allow curative surgery. As a reminder, lung cancer caused the death of 22,800 men and 10,300 women in 2018.

Of course, as the reminder Cancer Research Foundation, tobacco remains the first factor that increases the risk of developing lung cancer. Occupational and environmental exposures and personal and family history are also to be taken into account.

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