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Lung cancer often goes unnoticed; attention is paid to the disease only when its manifestations become too obvious. At the same time, cough, the most typical symptom of the disease, is far from the only symptom of the disease. We will tell you what you need to pay attention to in order not to miss and start the disease.
Lung cancer is considered one of the most common and most dangerous forms of cancer in the world. More than 60 thousand people fall ill in Russia every year. Although there are methods for early detection of this disease, patients often ignore the symptoms and do not go for testing, although this could save their lives.
A cough that doesn't get better but doesn't get worse is the most common symptom of the disease. But even if patients notice such a cough, they do not always rush to the examinations, coming up with excuses: they just choked, probably got sick, and a sore throat. However, if you notice a cough in yourself or a close relative that does not disappear anywhere for several weeks, but the condition does not worsen, you should know that this is a reason for a visit to the doctor. And you certainly do not need to hesitate if you have a cough with blood, especially if it is accompanied by chest pain.
Does your voice seem to have changed? Got hoarse, hoarse, just different? Maybe someone around you is interested in what happened to the voice? This is something to watch out for - lung cancer can be the cause of this change.
The sound of the voice depends on the vibration of the vocal cords. The appearance of a tumor can damage the nerves that are connected to these vocal cords - they begin to vibrate differently or even be partially paralyzed.
Do not forget that hoarseness and hoarseness are typical symptoms that accompany less dangerous diseases, such as laryngitis.
Lack of appetite
Unwillingness to eat is one of the common symptoms of lung cancer. It occurs in 9 out of 10 patients. In most cases, lack of appetite is due to the fact that with this form of cancer it often becomes difficult to chew and swallow, and therefore patients simply refuse to eat so as not to experience additional discomfort.
This leads to the fact that they do not receive enough energy, lose weight and become weak. Constant fatigue and unexpected weight loss, by the way, are also signs indicating a possible oncological process in the body.
Severe shortness of breath and a feeling of shortness of breath can occur for various reasons, for example, indicate problems with the heart and blood vessels, but they are not uncommon in lung cancer.
As the tumor grows, it can press on the airways, making it difficult to inhale and exhale. In addition, it can lead to the development of pneumonia, which also creates breathing problems.
In every tenth patient with lung cancer, the level of calcium in the blood increases - a condition called hypercalcemia develops. Excess calcium in the blood can provoke stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation. No matter how much a person eats, he may feel intense hunger and incredible thirst - calcium will also be to blame for this.
An enlarging tumor can pinch the superior vena cava - because of this, the blood supply will be disrupted, which can cause severe headaches. In addition, their appearance may be associated with increased calcium levels. Frequent headaches for no apparent reason, especially if they have occurred very rarely before, is a reason to see a doctor.
If the phalanges on the fingers changed their shape, became wider and flattened, then this is definitely an alarming symptom.Doctors call this symptom drumsticks, and it can also be associated with lung cancer.
The fact is that some lung tumors synthesize hormone-like substances as they grow. The presence of some of these stimulates blood flow to the pads of the fingers, making them look thicker than usual.
It seems strange, but this symptom is indeed quite clearly associated with lung cancer: one study found that about 80% of patients with "drumsticks" were diagnosed with this form of cancer.
Any disease is better prevented than cured. Fortunately, there is an effective way to diagnose lung cancer early. This is not a fluorography, but a low-dose computed tomography of the lungs, with which even tiny tumor foci can be identified. You can find out about other methods of cancer screening here. In addition, we have written about the little-known signs of melanoma and breast cancer.