Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Updated at: Dec 21, 2011
Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer Signs and Symptoms - Chest pain, persistent cough and pneumonia are some of the symptoms of lung cancer.

Vatsal Anand
CancerWritten by: Vatsal AnandPublished at: Dec 21, 2011

Lung cancer, like any other cancer, results from abnormality in the basic functioning of the body’s unit called the cell. In a normal situation, the body has a control on the production and destruction of cells. But when the division of cells become uncontrolled, it results into what is called a tumour. Tumour can be benign or malignant and the cancerous ones are called malignant.


In the period between 1974 and 1994, the lung cancer deaths in women increased by 150 percent in the USA, mainly because of increased prevalence of smoking in them. While women do not smoke or inhale the smoke as much as men, they are 1.5 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Some symptoms of lung cancer include:




Persistent cough is one of the symptoms of lung cancer but also of other conditions such as COPD. There is a pattern of coughing in lung cancer patients which should be identified.


Persistent pain


Unrelenting pain in the chest, shoulder or back which is not related to cough is a sign of lung cancer.




At times the growing tumour due to lung cancer obstructs the airway passage and causes pneumonia. If such is indeed the case, the patient would need to take repeated X-rays to make sure that all residual opacities have been removed.


Chest pain


It is not uncommon for lung cancer to infiltrate into the chest wall and cause pain. A person under serious risk of lung cancer should immediately consult with his physician after experiencing chest pain. Chest wall invasion or plural involvement is a distinct possibility in such people.



Increase in volume of sputum, change in colour of sputum or blood in sputum.

Symptoms of lung cancer in its last stage


  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fatigue.
  • Pain such as headache, joint pain and pain in the bones.
  • Bone fractures that have nothing to do with injury due to accident.
  • Swelling in face or neck.
  • Episodic memory loss, unsteady gait and similar neurologic symptoms.

If you find yourself having any of the symptoms mentioned here, visit a physician as soon as possible. As is the case with all types of cancers, the difference between survival or perishing can be early diagnosis and prompt treatment.


Read more articles on Lung Cancer Signs and Symptoms




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