Lung cancer is one of the most common and serious types of cancer with around 47,000 people diagnosed with the condition every year in the UK. When symptoms of lung cancer do appear, one of the main symptoms to watch out for is a cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks. But not all symptoms of lung cancer are linked to a person’s lungs.
- Pancreatic cancer symptoms: Signs when you go to the toilet
Depending on which part of the lungs is affected, symptoms in different parts of the body may become apparent.
One area of the body which can be affected is the face.
According to American Cancer Society, cancers of the upper part of the lungs are sometimes called Pancoast tumours.
These tumours are more likely to be non-small cell lug cancer than small cell lung cancer.
Small cell lung cancers are rare tumours that develop in cells of the neuroendocrine system.
Around 80 to 85 out of 100 lung cancer cases in the UK are non small cell lung cancer.
Pancoast tumours can affect certain nerves to the eye and part of the face, causing a group of symptoms called Horner syndrome.
The three symptoms to look out for are:
- Drooping or weakness of one upper eyelid
- A smaller pupil (dark part in the centre of the eye) in the same eye
- Little or no sweating on the same side of the face
Pancoast tumours can also sometimes cause severe shoulder pain.
But the main symptoms of lung cancer are listed by the NHS as:
- A cough that doesn’t go away after 2 or 3 weeks
- A long-standing cough that gets worse
- Chest infections that keep coming back
- Coughing up blood
- An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
- Persistent breathlessness
- Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
- Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss
Other less common symptoms to look out for include:
- Changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger (this is known as finger clubbing)
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or pain when swallowing
- A hoarse voice
- Swelling of your face or neck
- Persistent chest or shoulder pain
- Bowel cancer symptoms: Sign in your stomach that could signal disease
What causes lung cancer?
A number of factors can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer, one of the main ones being smoking tobacco.
Cancer Research UK explains: “Smoking tobacco is the biggest cause of lung cancer in the UK. Around seven out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking. This includes breathing in other people’s cigarette smoke.
“Even light or occasional smoking increases the risk of lung cancer. But your risk increases more the longer you smoke and the more you smoke.
“Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. The sooner you stop, the better.”
Other risk factors include asbestos exposure, air pollution, previous lung disease, exposure to radon gas and a family history of lung cancer.
How to prevent lung cancer
As well as stopping smoking, Mayo Clinic recommends a number of other things to do to prevent lunch cancer.
One of these is to eat a diet full of fruits and vegetables. It says: “Choose a healthy diet with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Food sources of vitamins and nutrients are best.
“Avoid taking large doses of vitamins in pill form, as they may be harmful. For instance, researchers hoping to reduce the risk of lung cancer in heavy smokers gave them beta carotene supplements. Results showed the supplements actually increased the risk of cancer in smokers.”
Exercising most days of the week, testing your home for radon, and avoiding carcinogens at work is also advised.
Source: Read Full Article