November is officially Lung Cancer Awareness Month. This all started as Lung Cancer Awareness Day way back in 1995. As the lung cancer community and the lung cancer movement grew, the awareness activities increased and grew into Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Lung Cancer Symptoms
Lung cancer can go undiagnosed for a long time because symptoms—such as a nagging cough—can be chalked up to other health issues. If your symptoms persist, ask your doctor about lung cancer.
What Are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer?
Many people with lung cancer don’t have symptoms until the disease is in its later stages. Because there are very few nerve endings in the lungs, a tumor could grow without causing pain or discomfort. When symptoms are present, they are different in each person, but may include:
- A cough that doesn’t go away and gets worse over time
- Constant chest pain
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
- Frequent lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia
- Coughing up blood
Some symptoms of lung cancer may not seem related to the lungs or breathing. These symptoms can still be a sign of lung cancer because lung cancer usually does not cause symptoms in its earlier stages. This means some symptoms do not appear until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Bone pain or fractures
- Blood clots
See your doctor right away if you notice any of these symptoms. If you think you are at risk for lung cancer, talk to your doctor about being screened. Some people, unfortunately, go misdiagnosed for a long time because their symptoms are similar to other diagnoses such as pneumonia, allergies or a cold. If you feel that something is wrong, be persistent with your doctor. You know your body best and being persistent could save your life.
How Do I reduce My Risk of Lung Cancer?
- Cigarette smoking is the number one lung cancer risk factor.
- Breathing in dangerous chemicals can cause lung cancer.
- The more chemicals you breathe in, the higher your lung cancer risk.
- Take steps to protect your lungs from lung cancer all of the time.