Lung cancer symptoms usually doesn’t show in the early stages, but with this type of cancer being one of the most common and serious types, it’s important to recognise the first signs when they develop. According to the NHS, around 44,500 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year in the UK. Lung cancer is equally common in women and men, but it’s rarer in people under the age of 40. The NHS guidelines state rates of lung cancer increase rapidly with age, and it’s most common in people aged over 74. What are the five major signs in a person’s cough that could mean they may be at risk of developing lung cancer?
The five main symptoms in a person’s cough that could mean lung cancer include:
A cough for three weeks or more
A change in a cough you have had for a long time
Coughing up blood
A chest infection that does not get better, or getting repeated chest infections
Feeling breathless and wheezy for no reason
If you have noticed any of these symptoms, it is important to get them checked by your GP. Some of these symptoms can be caused by other lung conditions or by smoking. The NHS added: “Tobacco smoke contains more than 60 different toxic substances, which can lead to the development of cancer. These substances are known to be carcinogenic.”
The less common symptoms of lung cancer, usually associated with more advanced forms of the disease, include a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing and pain and discomfort under the ribs, in the chest or shoulder.
Smoking cigarettes is the single biggest risk factor for lung cancer. It’s responsible for more than 85 per cent of all cases, according to the NHS.
Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK.
About 46,400 people are diagnosed with it each year.
The number of men diagnosed with lung cancer is reducing.
But the number of women diagnosed is increasing.
Macmillan Cancer Support said: “Most lung cancers are caused by smoking.
“There are other risk factors that can increase the chances of developing lung cancer.
“There are two main types of lung cancer, the non-small cell lung cancer and the small lung cancer.
“Some people may get another type of cancer that starts in the lung.
“For example, a neuroendocrine tumour is a rare cancer type that sometimes starts in the lungs.”
Treatment for lung cancer depends on whether you have non-small-cell lung cancer or small-cell lung cancer.
A team of specialists will discuss the beat treatment option for anyone with lung cancer.