There are several warning signs associated with lung cancer, but as individuals they will vary and may not even occur. Further more, health care practitioners may not always pick up the signs as they are easily attributed to other illnesses. Because of this, in most cases lung cancer is not picked up until its in its advanced stages. If you are concerned the symptoms to look out for are:-
Constant pain in the chest rather than an intermittent pain. Easily overlooked and put down as over doing things on the sports field or at work. Often described as squeezing, crushing and severe and lasting several minutes.
Coughing up small amounts of blood can be seen as a sign, this is not considered normal so it should be checked out.
Sudden but noticeable weight loss for no reason, on occasion bordering anorexia. Lung cancer can cause change in metabolism.
Always over looked and put down to something else – wheezing and coughing and being out of breath. This shortness of breath, also known as Dyspnea, is caused by airway obstruction due to infection, inhalation of an irritant or haemorrhage.
Continued and excessive tiredness, lack of energy, even after a goods night rest is another symptom.
Recurring chest infections and even pneumonia.
Probably the most well known symptom is long persistent coughing that never goes away. This chronic type of cough is not resolved with cough medicine and the fact that its just annoying and uncomfortable is the reason suffers end up at the doctors and ultimately sent off for cancer checks.
All the above signs can mean very little on their own, its a combination of the above factors that make people think about their health. Signs of lung cancer are often not apparent in the early stages. Always consult your doctor if you have the slightest suspicion that you are suffering from any form of cancer.
Other secondary signs may include:
Difficulty in swallowing
Changes in your nails
A feeling of weakness
Swelling of facial features
Lung cancer is defined in two forms. Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) which accounts for about 20% of all lung cancers, especially from smoking. And Non Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) which makes up the other 80%, although this 80% is sub divided again into different groups.
Patients suffering from lung cancer should have the right nutrition, including foods rich in antioxidants. These foods such as fruit and vegetables are essential to boost the immune system. A regular diet should include garlic onions, tomatoes, soy, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Drinking at least two cups of green tea a day is a must. Green tea contains chemical anti oxidants that are over 500 times more powerful that vitamin C. Also, Omega 3 fish oils are a must, you can get these by eating mackerel, salmon, flax seeds and walnuts. Better still take an Omega 3 supplements on a daily basis. Even if you are not a sufferer, changing your daily food intake to include the above will help prevent you becoming another cancer statistic.
Cancer of the lungs can also cause fluids to build up in the lungs. This condition is known as pleural effusion. This fluid may be drained out of the lungs to ease the pain and difficulty breathing. However, the fluid can build up again over time and the operation will need to be repeated.
Lung cancer is not usually detected until the latter stages. The most advanced being known as “Stage 4 Lung Cancer. Once the cancer has got to this stage it means that it has spread out from the lungs and infected other organs in the body. Treatments used to combat the disease include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Surgery is only applicable in the early stages when the cancer has not yet spread. Being contained means that it can be removed easily. Once spread to other parts of the body, chemotherapy is the preferred method. Chemotherapy can even target those cell CT scans cannot see.
Survival rate of stage 4 cancer vary enormously so it is very difficult to predict how long a person can live. Some patients live on for many years, records show that other individuals have cured themselves by eating hot peppers, garlic and fish oils. A positive attitude can make all the difference.
The first step to detecting lung cancer involves a chest radio-graph, which determines any obvious mass in the lungs. If nothing is found a second check in the form of a CT scan will be necessary. A CT guided biopsy or bronchoscopy will provide all the information needed to determine if any cancer cells are present.
Are you at risk ? People with a family history of lung cancer have a greater risk of developing it. Radon, an odourless gas produced from the breaking up of certain rock formations in the ground is a lesser known cause. As is Asbestos. Both of these present a very real risk to humans. However, 90% of all lung cancer is related to the smoking of tobacco.