Lung cancer is one of the most serious types of cancer to be diagnosed, as it’s usually difficult to spot until it has spread to other parts of the body. If the disease has progressed a number of signs may be evident.
According to the American Cancer Society, if lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it may cause:
Bone pain (like pain in the back or hips)
Nervous system changes (such as headache, weakness or numbness of an arm or leg, dizziness, balance problems, or seizures), from cancer spread to the brain
Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), from cancer spread to the liver
Swelling of lymph nodes (collection of immune system cells) such as those in the neck or above the collarbone.
These are a system of tubes and glands in the body that filter body fluid and help fight infection.
The cancer charity says: “The most common symptom if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes is that they are usually bigger than normal. But lymph nodes also get bigger if you have an infection.”
If cancer has spread to the brain, it says “drowsiness and confusion, severe headaches, often with sickness, and weakness of an arm or leg” can occur.
If it spreads to the liver, you may experience discomfort or pain on the right side of your tummy, feel sick, have poor appetite and weight loss, have a swollen tummy, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, and itchy skin.
If cancer has spread to the bone, the cancer charity says it can cause pain, often in the lower back, weaker bones, and raised calcium levels in the blood, which causes dehydration and confusion.
These are small glands found just above the kidney.
While cancer that has spread to the adrenal glands doesn’t usually cause any symptoms, the cancer charity says cancer which has spread to both adrenal glands may cause love levels of adrenal hormones.
This can then cause fairness, dizziness weakness, tiredness an unexplained weight loss.
Common signs of early lung cancer include:
- Having a cough most of the time
- Having a change in a cough you have had for a long time – it may sound different or be painful when you cough
- Getting out of breath doing the things you used to do without a problem
- Coughing up phlegm (sputum) with blood in it.