Lung cancer, which is one of the most common cancers in the world and in our country, is becoming more common today.
of all cancers in men and in women in Turkey 1. 5. Since the early diagnosis of lung cancer ranks vital to the community's attention is drawn to lung cancer in November each year to raise awareness all over the world. Acıbadem Taksim Hospital Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim said, “It takes a few years for the complaints of the disease to emerge and the disease may go unnoticed until it reaches an advanced stage. There are no symptoms in the early period or the existing symptoms are ignored by the patients. Therefore, it is difficult to catch lung cancer at an early stage, ”he says. Noting that the symptoms seen in lung cancer vary according to the location, size and spread of the tumor, Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim “The symptoms that occur may be related to the lungs or other organs through which the disease has spread (metastasized). For this reason, very different symptoms can be seen in lung cancer patients, ”he says. Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim stated that smoking is the leading factor leading to lung cancer, and explained the most common symptoms of this insidious disease, and made important warnings and suggestions.
Cough that doesn't go away or gets worse
The most common symptom in the early stage of the disease is persistent cough that does not go away and gets worse. Many conditions such as the tumor itself or its compression on the airways can cause cough in lung cancer. People who smoke cigarettes do not care about their cough by attributing it to smoking. Many patients know this complaint as "smoking cough", they accept it as a natural condition and do not consult a doctor. Therefore, the chance of early diagnosis decreases in patients. A persistent cough is important and may be the first sign of lung cancer.
Chest, shoulder, and back pain
Pain is one of the common symptoms seen in lung cancer patients. Spread of the tumor to organs such as nerves, bones, pleura and liver causes pain. Pain is a serious symptom, and many patients consult a doctor because of chest and back pain and shoulder pain.
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is a common symptom, especially in the advanced stages of the disease. Smoking is the most important cause of lung cancer. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is also common in lung cancer patients who have smoked for many years and contributes to shortness of breath. Apart from this, the spread of the tumor into the lung tissue and airways, fluid accumulation in the lung membrane, and pneumonia associated with lung cancer cause shortness of breath in lung cancer patients.
Hearing a whistling sound, especially when exhaling, is called wheezing. Lung cancer is the noise heard when the windpipe or airways are narrowed and may be the first sign of the disease. Wheezing is also heard in asthma patients, especially during attacks. Some tumors, especially tumors located in the trachea, may not be seen on chest radiography, the only symptom that may suggest lung cancer in these patients is this sound when exhaling.
Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim "Seeing blood in the form of a line in the sputum or mixed with sputum is defined as" bloody sputum ". It occurs as a result of a rupture in the vessel wall. It is an important symptom for lung cancer. It can also be seen in diseases such as tuberculosis and bronchiectasis. "Lung cancer should definitely be considered when blood is seen in sputum in a smoker."
As a result of lung cancer affecting the nerves to the vocal cords, paralysis of the vocal cords, bifurcation in the voice, coarseness and hoarseness may occur. Hoarseness, which is an important symptom for lung cancer, can also be seen in diseases such as upper respiratory tract infections, reflux, and laryngeal cancer.
Recurrent attacks of pneumonia
Frequent bronchitis or pneumonia can be a symptom of lung cancer. When the tumor in the lung causes obstruction in the airways, infection and pneumonia occur behind the obstruction. Although pneumonia does not completely resolve with antibiotic treatment, or it recurs after a while. For this reason, lung cancer should definitely be considered in case of pneumonia that does not improve or especially recurs in the same area.
Fatigue and fatigue can be a source of stress and can be seen in many diseases. It is not always correct to think of it as a cancer symptom. Metabolic changes caused by cancer cells, some substances released from the tumor, changes in hormones may cause fatigue and fatigue in cancer patients. Lung cancer should be considered in case of fatigue, fatigue that cannot be explained by any other reason, especially in smokers.
Loss of appetite and involuntary weight loss can be seen in many diseases and may also be symptoms of lung cancer. Especially if a person who smokes has started to lose weight unintentionally, he / she should definitely consult a doctor.
Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim “Club finger” is defined as the soft tissue on the tips of the fingers and toes that swells and takes the shape of a club. It may be an important symptom of lung cancer, as well as other diseases such as bronchiectasis, lung abscess, heart and intestinal diseases. "Lung cancer should definitely be considered when clubbing is seen in a smoker."
Rare symptoms in lung cancer
As a result of the spread of lung cancer to neighboring organs and distant organs; Chest Diseases indicating that symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, pain during swallowing, neck and face swelling, drooping eyelid, headache, nausea, vomiting, balance disorder, fainting, memory loss, swelling under the skin, bone or joint pain, bone fractures may also occur. Expert Assoc. Dr. Tülin Sevim “Early diagnosis is very important in lung cancer. The first step to be taken for early diagnosis is to know the symptoms of the disease and to consult a physician when these symptoms occur. "Increasing awareness in the society about lung cancer, risk factors for lung cancer, symptoms of the disease will make an important contribution to the prevention and early diagnosis of the disease."
Hibya News Agency