What are the symptoms of lung cancer?
Symptoms of non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer are basically the same.
Early symptoms may include:
You might also have recurrent respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis.
As cancer spreads, additional symptoms depend on where new tumors form. For example, if in the:
Tumors can press on the large vein that transports blood between the head, arms, and heart. This can cause swelling of the face, neck, upper chest, and arms.
Lung cancer sometimes creates a substance similar to hormones, causing a wide variety of symptoms called paraneoplastic syndrome, which include:
Anyone can get lung cancer, but 90 percent of lung cancer cases are the result of smoking. Exposure to radon, a naturally existing radioactive gas, is the second leading cause.
Other substances that can cause lung cancer are:
Sometimes, there's no obvious cause for lung cancer.
The biggest risk factor for lung cancer is smoking. That includes cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. Tobacco products contain thousands of toxic substances.
Your risk of developing lung cancer is higher if you’re exposed to toxic substances such as asbestos or diesel exhaust in the workplace.
Other risk factors include:
It’s usually a good idea to seek a second opinion before beginning treatment. Your doctor may be able to help make that happen. If you’re diagnosed with lung cancer, your care will likely be managed by a team of doctors who may include:
Discuss all your treatment options before making a decision. Your doctors will coordinate care and keep each other informed.
Treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) varies from person to person. Much depends on specific details of your health.
Stage 1 NSCLC: Surgery to remove a portion of the lung may be all you need. Chemotherapy may also be recommended, especially if you’re at high risk of recurrence.
Stage 2 NSCLC: You may need surgery to remove part or all of your lung. Chemotherapy is usually recommended.
Stage 3 NSCLC: You may require a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation treatment.
Stage 4 NSCLC: is particularly hard to cure. Options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.
Options for small cell-lung cancer (NSCLC) also include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. In most cases, the cancer will be too advanced for surgery.
Clinical trials provide access to promising new treatments. Ask your doctor if you’re eligible for a clinical trial.