Many people who have lung cancer may not notice any symptoms until the disease has begun to spread. That’s why it’s important to learn about lung cancer symptoms, and be aware of unusual changes in your body.
Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center is committed to educating you about the symptoms of lung cancer and what to do if you have any of them.
In most cases, lung cancer doesn’t cause symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage, sometimes when cancer has spread to other parts of the body. But some people do experience early warning signs of lung cancer. These may include:
- A constant feeling of pain in the chest that may worsen with deep breathing, coughing or laughing
- A cough that does not go away and gets worse over time
- Pain in the arm or shoulder
- Coughing up blood or rust-colored spit
- Shortness of breath, wheezing or hoarseness
- Repeatedly being sick with pneumonia or bronchitis
- Swelling of the neck and face
- Loss of appetite and/or weight loss
- Feeling weak or tired
- Clubbing of fingers, a condition in which the fingertips become wider and rounder
Experiencing any of these signs does not mean you have lung cancer. Many are common symptoms of other illnesses, such as a respiratory infection.
If your symptoms persist or become worse, or if you’re concerned that something more serious may be going on, don’t hesitate to call your physician. Whatever the cause, you should know why you’re having these symptoms. If you do have lung cancer, finding it early can increase the likelihood of successful treatment.