What are the first signs of lung cancer?

Medically Reviewed by Checkmark Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Sravanthi Sunkaraneni

The early signs of lung cancer depend on which part of the lung is affected. As cancer develops, these symptoms may become more severe or intense. The first symptoms of lung cancer can last for more than a few weeks. Some of these symptoms can be cough, shortness of breath, laboured or difficult breathing, chronic mucus production, etc. If lung cancer spreads to other body parts, it can cause bone pain, jaundice (if it spreads to the liver), swelling of the lymph nodes, and nervous system changes, such as numbness or tingling, and balance problems (if it spreads to the brain). 

Can you diagnose lung cancer early?

Sometimes. Usually, lung cancer is not diagnosed early as the symptoms don’t appear until the disease is at an advanced stage. You may mistake the initial symptoms as infection or long-term effects of smoking. However, you get the screening at an early stage, the diagnosis of lung cancer is possible. People at a high risk of lung cancer, such as those with lung cancer in their family, chain smokers, or people exposed to substances that can cause cancer, should get a screening to have an early diagnosis.

Can a person survive lung Cancer?

Maybe. The chances of survival in lung cancer depend upon the cancer stage and comorbidities present in the patient. If a person with lung cancer is diagnosed and treated at an early stage, the chances of survival increase multifold. Cancer Research UK researched and found that around 40% will survive for more than one year, 15% will survive for more than five years, and around 10% will survive lung cancer for ten years or more. Several treatment modalities, such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these treatments, are increasing the chances of survival in lung cancer.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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