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Former Smoker? 6 Symptoms of Lung Cancer to Be Aware Of

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Former SmokerLung cancer, in its earliest stages, may not present any symptoms at all. For this reason, as much as 40 percent of those diagnosed are already in the advanced stages of the disease. In one-third of those, the stage is up to level three by the time they’re diagnosed. Here are some early symptoms of lung cancer to be aware of.

A New, Different or Lingering Cough

A lingering cough, even if it started with a respiratory infection or cold, could be a sign of lung cancer. A cough that hangs around past a few weeks is worth looking into. Another similar sign involves change in a chronic cough. Some smokers and former smokers have chronic coughs or have been diagnosed with COPD. However, if the chronic cough develops new symptoms such as more blood or mucous or it takes a different sound such as hoarser or deeper, it could be a sign of lung cancer.

Breathing Changes and Problems

New shortness of breath or becoming easily winded are also symptoms to take note of. A sonographer with a Bachelor’s in diagnostic medical sonography says a tumor in the airway can cause shortness of breath. If you notice that activities you used to do easily are now causing you to have breathing issues, you should see a doctor.

Chest Pain or Bone Pain

Another major sign of lung cancer is chest pain. This pain might radiate into the back and shoulders as well as the chest. It might be a sharp pain or a dull, aching pain. It might only occur when taking a deep breath or during activity, or it might be consistent. However it shows up, do not ignore it. Another type of symptomatic pain is bone pain that often gets worse when laying on the back at night. This is a sign that the cancer may have spread to the bones.

Wheezing or Hoarseness

Changes in the voice, especially if accompanied by wheezing, could also be signs of lung cancer. Wheezing has benign causes as well, but if it seems to happen in the absence of other allergy or asthma signs, you might have cause for concern. Voice changes can occur after a cold, but if they persist for over two weeks, it might be a sign of lung cancer.

The key is to pay attention to your body and what feels normal. If your body begins behaving differently and some or all of these signs are present, don’t wait to get checked out by a doctor.