Lung cancer symptoms: This change in your cough could be one of the signs of the disease

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Posted on Mar 20 2018 - 2:11pm by admin

Lung cancer affects around 44,500 people in the UK every year.

In many cases, symptoms usually only occur when the cancer has become too advanced to cure.

Like many other cancers, lung cancer can be detected at the earliest stage (stage 1) so it is important to recognise all the symptoms.

Cancer Research UK says a cough that will not go away can be a tell-tale sign of the disease.

A change in a cough you have had for a long time can also be an indication. The charity noted the following:

  • Your cough might be more painful
  • It may have a different sound
  • You may bring up coloured mucus or phlegm when you cough

Another sign your cough could be linked to lung cancer is if you start coughing up blood. This may be small amounts of blood and you may cough up rust coloured phlegm.

Your sputum, another word for phlegm, could also have flecks of red in it.

It is more unusual to cough up larger amounts of blood, but you should see you GP straight away if this happens.

The NHS lists other symptoms of lung cancer:

  • An ache or pain when breathing or coughing
  • Persistent breathlessness
  • Persistent tiredness or lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

Less common symptoms include:

  • Changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger (known as finger clubbing)
  • A high temperature (fever) of 38C or above
  • Difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
  • Wheezing
  • A hoarse voice
  • Persistent chest or shoulder pain

One symptom people may not recognise as being linked to lung cancer is swelling in the face.

But why does this happen?

Swelling in the face can be a result of a superior vena cava obstruction.

The superior vena cava is a large vein in the chest which carries blood from the upper half of the body into the heart.

And a superior vena cava obstruction happens when something blocks this blood flow, explains Macmillan. 

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