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4 Early Symptoms of Lung Cancer and How They Can Be Treated

Lung cancer is caused by many factors such as smoking, exposure to asbestos or radon gas, air pollution, and many more. Non-small cell lung cancer (NNSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer, followed by small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) and adenocarcinoma in situ, respectively. If detected early, tumors can be removed surgically in a process known as lobectomy.

Large-cell neuroendocrine tumors and large-cell carcinoma are non-small cell lung cancers that grow fast. However, small-cell lung cancer progresses faster than the non-small cell type. SCLC can respond to chemotherapy but not likely to be cured. Lung tumors can grow large without presenting symptoms. Most early signs come as a cold or any other common condition that may not be taken seriously by the patient.

Here are some of the early lung cancer symptoms and types of treatments needed:

  • Shortness of breath – When you have trouble breathing properly, or you become easily winded, this could be a sign of lung cancer. Lung cancer can block airways and change your breathing patterns. Sometimes fluid from the tumor can build up in the chest and make it hard for you to breathe properly, especially after climbing the stairs or performing easy tasks.
  • Chest Pain – Lung cancer can cause pain in the back, shoulders, or chest. The pain can be intermittent, dull, constant, or sharp. Seek the doctor’s attention when you notice such pain.
  • Persistent cough – Always pay attention to cough that doesn’t go away – it can be a sign of lung cancer. Get checked by the doctor immediately.
  • Hoarse or raspy voice – Sometimes, your voice will change significantly and become raspy or hoarse. This can be due to a lung tumor affecting the nerve that controls your voice box. Seek medical attention to identify the cause.

To detect early-stage lung cancer, doctors use low-dose CT scans on patients. Once the diagnosis confirms the presence of the disease and stage, you can undergo surgery to remove the tumor. If your cancer is locally advanced, doctors will use radiation therapy before or after surgery. This will be combined with chemotherapy.

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