What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Lung cancer can cause various symptoms, which may vary depending on the stage of cancer and the tumour’s location. Some common symptoms of lung cancer include:

– Persistent cough that worsens over time
– Chest pain that worsens with deep breathing, coughing, or laughing
– Shortness of breath or wheezing
– Hoarseness or changes in the voice
– Feeling tired or weak
– Unintentional weight loss
– Loss of appetite
– Coughing up blood or rust-coloured phlegm

It’s important to remember that other conditions can also cause these symptoms, so if you’re experiencing any of them, it’s essential to see a healthcare professional for evaluation and diagnosis.

What are the symptoms of stage 1 lung cancer?

Possible symptoms of early stage 1 lung cancer symptoms are difficult to spot and very mild and non-specific. They might include:

– Persistent cough that gets worse over time
– Chest pain
– Shortness of breath
– Wheezing or hoarseness
– Coughing up blood or rust-coloured spit
– Loss of appetite and/or unintended weight loss
– Fatigue or weakness

Often early-stage lung cancer is completely asymptomatic. 

However, it’s also possible to have lung cancer without experiencing any noticeable symptoms in the early stages, so routine screenings and early detection are essential for those at risk.

Can a blood test detect lung cancer?

Yes, a blood test can sometimes detect lung cancer. However, it is not the primary or most reliable diagnostic tool for detecting lung cancer. It can be used in conjunction with imaging tests and other diagnostic methods to help confirm a diagnosis or monitor the progression of the disease. Tumour markers such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cytokeratin-19 fragment (CYFRA 21-1) are often measured in the blood of patients with lung cancer. However, elevated levels of these markers may also be associated with other conditions, so they are not always a definitive indicator of lung cancer. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Is there a screening for lung cancer?

Yes, a lung cancer screening test is known as a low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) scan. This non-invasive imaging test uses low-dose radiation to create detailed images of the lungs. The LDCT scan is recommended for individuals with a high risk of developing lung cancer, such as current or former smokers. It’s essential to speak with a doctor about whether an LDCT scan is appropriate for your situation.

What is the best prevention for lung cancer?

Some of the best prevention strategies for lung cancer include:

1. Quitting smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. So, the best way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking.

2. Avoiding secondhand smoke: Exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of lung cancer. So, try to limit exposure to secondhand smoke as much as possible.

3. Limiting exposure to harmful substances: Exposure to certain chemicals such as asbestos, radon, and diesel exhaust can increase the risk of lung cancer. So, limit your exposure to these substances.

4. Eating a healthy diet: Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.

5. Regular exercise: Regular physical activity can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of various cancers, including lung cancer.

6. Regular screenings: If you’re at high risk for lung cancer, talk to your doctor about getting screened regularly. Screening tests can help detect lung cancer at an early stage and improve the chances for successful treatment.

Can lung cancer be cured?

The prognosis for lung cancer depends on several factors, such as cancer’s stage, the tumour’s size and location, and the patient’s overall health. While some cases of lung cancer may be cured, this is not always the case. Treatment options for lung cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for each case.

Is there a skin sign of lung cancer?

While there are no specific skin signs that are exclusively associated with lung cancer, there are some skin changes that may be related to lung cancer. For example, people with lung cancer may develop clubbing, which causes the nails to become enlarged and curve over the fingertips. They may also have a bluish tinge to their skin due to decreased oxygen levels in the blood or yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice) if cancer has spread to the liver. However, it’s important to note that other medical conditions can also cause these changes, so they do not definitively indicate lung cancer. If you are experiencing any concerning symptoms or changes in your skin, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

What is the survival of lung cancer patients?

The prognosis for lung cancer depends on several factors, including the cancer stage, the type of lung cancer, and the patient’s overall health. Survival rates are typically expressed as the percentage of patients still alive a certain number of years after diagnosis. 

For non-small cell lung cancer, the overall 5-year survival rate is around 25%, but this varies depending on the stage at diagnosis.

It is essential to remember that survival rates are general statistics and do not necessarily reflect an individual patient’s prognosis. Every person’s situation is unique, and many factors can influence their outcome.

Picture of Marco Scarci
Marco Scarci

Highly respected consultant thoracic surgeon based in London. He is renowned for his expertise in keyhole surgery, particularly in the treatment of lung cancer and pneumothorax (collapsed lung). He also specialises in rib fractures, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), chest wall deformities and emphysema.



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