Lung cancer does not usually have many signs or symptoms in the early stages. Around 47,000 people are diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK. Common signs of lung cancer tend to be a persistent cough, coughing up blood, persistent breathlessness, unexplained weight loss and tiredness or an ache or pain when breathing or coughing. But there is another warning sign – discomfort in the tummy.
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Symptoms of lung cancer are often non-specific.
Having a new and persistent cough is the most common warning sign.
Others include a lump in the neck, a hoarse voice and coughing up blood. Having a chest X-ray is not always sufficient in finding out if it’s lung cancer, and if you have a pain or discomfort in a certain side of your tummy it could mean the cancer has spread to your liver.
Cancer Research UK said: “You might have any of the following symptoms if your cancer has spread to the liver. These include discomfort or pain on the side of the tummy, feeling sick, poor appetite and weight loss, swollen tummy, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes or itchy skin.
“Secondary liver cancer is when a cancer that started in another part of the body has spread to the liver.
“Where the cancer started is called the primary cancer. It is not easy to cope with a diagnosis of secondary liver cancer but understanding more about it and the treatment you might have can help.”
What causes lung cancer
Smoking remains the biggest cause for a person developing lung cancer. Other possible reasons include VOCs which are particles found in many products including paint, air fresheners and cleaning sprays.
Various studies have linked VOCs to health problems. Another cause of lung cancer could be due to increased pollution levels.
A study in 2013 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer found the risk of lung cancer rises the more tiny dust-like particles there are in air pollution.
Cancer Research UK estimates that pollution causes 3,600 cases of lung cancer in the UK each year – around one in ten lung cancer patients.
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Cancer Research UK said: “Lymph nodes are part of a system of tubes and glands in the body that filters body fluid and fights infection.
“The most common symptom if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes is that they are usually bigger than normal.
“But lymph nodes also get bigger if you have an infection. So you cant be sure of the cause of a lump until your doctor has examined you and done some tests.
“Tell your doctor if you find any lumps or swollen areas, particularly in your neck or armpits.”
People with non-small cell lung cancer can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy or a combination of these treatments.
People with small cell lung cancer are usually treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
If you have noticed any unusual signs or pains its important to speak with your GP and discuss the possible cause.
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