In the early stages of lung cancer there are often no obvious symptoms. 40% of people who are diagnosed with lung cancer aren't diagnosed until it is in the advanced stages. One third of people diagnosed have already reached stage 3.
Although many people aren't aware of any symptoms, in some types of lung cancer there are some common symptoms to look out for:
A lingering cough
Coughs caused by respiratory infections and colds usually clear up within 1-2 weeks. If you have a cough that has lingered for 2-3 weeks or more, then it's a good idea to see your local GP.
A change to your voice
Many of us get a raspy, hoarse voice for a week or two when we develop a cold of chest infection, however this can also be a symptom of lung cancer.
The hoarseness of your voice can occur when a tumor affects the nerve that controls your voice box.
If you or other people notice a change in your voice and this lasts more than two weeks, see your local GP for a checkup.
The wheezing sound when your breathe is caused from your airways being constricted, swollen or blocked.
There is often easily treatable reasons for this, however it can be a sign of something more serious.
Unexplained weight loss of more than 10 pound can be associated with any type of cancer. This is due to cancer cells using up the energy in your body.
Weight loss can be a sign of many different changes in your health, so keep an eye on your weight and get advice from your Doctor if you have any concerns.
Lung cancer can cause a lot of pain throughout your chest, back and shoulders. Keep an eye on whether the pain is when due to do a specific activity, if it's constant and what type of pain it is, whether it's a dull or sharp pain.
If lung cancer spreads to other organs throughout the body, you may get:
- Lumps near the surface of your skin
- Bone pain, often in your back and hips
- Yellowing of your eyes and skin
- Weakness or numbness of your arms and legs
- Loss of balance
If you experience any of these symptoms, please make an appointment with your GP.