Symptoms 2022

10 symptoms of lung cancerão and how to confirm the diagnosisóstic

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10 symptoms of lung cancerão and how to confirm the diagnosisóstic
10 symptoms of lung cancerão and how to confirm the diagnosisóstic

Lung cancer symptoms usually only appear when the disease is at a more advanced stage, the main ones being:

  1. Dry and persistent cough;
  2. Difficulty breathing;
  3. Shortness of breath;
  4. Decreased appetite;
  5. Weight loss;
  6. Hoarseness;
  7. Back pain;
  8. Chest pain;
  9. Blood in the phlegm;
  10. Extreme tiredness.

In the presence of these signs and symptoms, it is important that the pulmonologist or general practitioner is consulted, as it is possible for tests to be carried out to identify the disease at an early stage, initiating the treatment immediately afterwards and preventing the development of complications.

Symptoms in later stages

Most of the time, lung cancer is identified in the most advanced stages. At this stage, symptoms typically include bloody phlegm, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and recurrent lung infection. In addition, there may be manifestations and complications of lung cancer, such as Pancoast tumor and metastasis, which have more specific symptoms:

1. Pancoast tumor

Pancoast tumor, a type of lung cancer located in the upper part of the right or left lung, has more specific symptoms, such as swelling and pain in the arm and shoulder, reduced muscle strength and increased skin temperature in the face region, absence of sweat and eyelid droop.

2. Metastasis

Metastasis happens when cancer cells are transported to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or lymph vessels. Metastasis can happen in a few months and, depending on the place of occurrence, can cause different symptoms.

In lung metastasis, there may be chest pain unrelated to breathing or pleural effusion. In brain metastasis there may be headache, nausea, vomiting and even neurological deficits. In the case of bone metastasis, bone pain and recurrent fractures may occur. When there is liver metastasis, an increase in the size of the liver, slight weight loss and pain in the upper right side of the belly are common.

How the diagnosis is made

The diagnosis of lung cancer is made by evaluating the signs and symptoms presented by the person, he alth and family history and the results of imaging tests, especially chest radiography, in which the presence of the tumor. In addition, computed tomography and lung tissue biopsy may be requested in some cases.

Thus, by performing these tests, it is possible to confirm the diagnosis and verify the tumor's stage, making it possible to indicate the most appropriate treatment.

Main causes of lung cancer

The main responsible for the development of lung cancer is the use of cigarettes, as about 90% of all cases of this type of cancer occur in smokers, and the risk increases according to the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of years you have been a smoker.

However, lung cancer can also happen in those who have never smoked, especially in those who are in frequent contact with cigarette smoke or other chemicals such as radon, arsenic or beryllium, for example, although this risk be much lower than that of someone who smokes.

Because smoking can cause cancer

Cigarette smoke is composed of several carcinogenic substances that fill the lungs during smoking, such as tar and benzene, which damage the cells that line the interior of the organ.

When these injuries happen once in a while, the lung may be able to repair itself, but when they happen constantly, as in the case of smokers, the cells cannot repair themselves quickly, causing the cells to multiply incorrectly and, consequently, cancer.

In addition, smoking is associated with the emergence of several other he alth problems, such as emphysema, heart attack and memory disorders. Check out 10 diseases caused by smoking.

Who is most at risk for cancer

Factors that appear to increase the risk of developing lung cancer include:

  • Smoking;
  • Inhale other people's cigarette smoke, thus being a passive smoker;
  • Frequently exposed to radon gas and other hazardous chemicals such as arsenic, asbestos (asbestos), beryllium, cadmium, hydrocarbons, silica, mustard gas and nickel;
  • Living in regions with a lot of environmental pollution;
  • Having a genetic predisposition, and people with a history of parents or grandparents who had lung cancer may be at increased risk.

In addition, having been treated for other types of cancer can also increase the risk, such as in cases of breast cancer, lymphoma or cancer of the testicles treated with radiotherapy, for example.

People with these risk factors should have regular consultations with their general practitioner or pulmonologist, as a way of assessing lung he alth and screening for any changes that may be suggestive, such as a nodule.

How the treatment is done

Lung cancer treatment depends on the type of tumor, characteristics and presence of metastasis. Thus, the doctor may recommend performing surgery to remove part or all of the lung to prevent the cancer cells from spreading to other parts of the lung or to other organs.

In addition, the doctor may recommend chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy before or after surgery to shrink the tumor or to ensure that all cancer cells are eliminated. See more details on lung cancer treatment.

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