Lung cancer: Signs and symptoms to look out for
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Lung cancer is extremely difficult to spot in its early stages, because the symptoms don’t usually appear until the cancer is more advanced. But there are a few key warning signs that everybody should be watching out for. When should you speak to a doctor?
Lung cancer is a very serious type of cancer – but it’s also one of the most common.
It’s usually not diagnosing until the tumour has spread to other parts of the body, which makes treatment incredibly difficult.
Almost 50,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK every year.
Of those patients, around a third will live with the condition for another year, while just five percent will live for at least 10 years.
Symptoms will usually get worse over time, which makes them more noticeable.
Most of the time, however, these symptoms only develop when the tumour has spread to other parts of the body.
If you notice any of the 14 key warning signs of lung cancer, you should speak to a doctor, urged the NHS.
Some of the symptoms are more common than others, while others only affect a few patients.
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Main symptoms of lung cancer
Cough that won’t go away after two or three weeks
Long-standing cough that gets worse
Persistent chest infections
Coughing up blood
Ache or pain when breathing or coughing
Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
Loss of appetite/unexplained weight loss
Less common symptoms of lung cancer
Changes in the appearance of fingers (may become more curved or larger)
Swelling on the face or neck
Persistent chest or shoulder pain.
“See a GP if you have symptoms of lung cancer, such as breathlessness or a persistent cough,” said the NHS.
“The GP will ask about your general health and your symptoms.
“They may examine you and ask you to breathe into a device called a spirometer, which measures how much air you breathe in and out.
“You may be asked to have a blood test to rule out some of the possible causes of your symptoms, such as a chest infection.”
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