lung cancer symptoms

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women. It is also the deadliest cancer in both genders, accounting for more than one quarter of all cancer deaths. One reason the lung cancer death rate is so high is because lung cancer symptoms usually don?t appear until the disease has already reached an advanced stage, when it is harder to treat and less likely to be cured.

Recently, the American Cancer society began to recommend lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan for people at high risk for the disease. This includes people between the ages of 55 and 74 who have at least a 30 pack-year smoking history and either still smoke, or have quit smoking within the last 15 years.

In most cases, lung cancer symptoms don?t appear until the disease has already advanced to the point where it is incurable. Yet sometimes, symptoms can start earlier in the disease. See your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any lung cancer symptoms, such as persistent coughing, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, or chest pain. Other lung cancer symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite. If the cancer spreads to the skin or lymph nodes, it can form lumps. Lung cancer symptoms that indicate it has spread to the bone or brain include bone pain, dizziness, headache, or weakness in one arm.

Smoking is by far the leading cause of lung cancer. The longer you smoke and the more packs of cigarettes you smoke each day, the more your risk increases. Smoking cigars or pipes also puts you at risk. If you are at high risk, watch for lung cancer symptoms and talk to your doctor about screening. When a CT scan suggests lung cancer, your doctor will recommend follow-up tests such as a biopsy of lung cells, or a test of sputum.

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