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Do You Know the Warning Signs of Lung Cancer?

June 1, 2021

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest diseases for both men and women. Although smoking can greatly increase your risk, you don't have to be a smoker to develop a tumor in the lung. In the last 20 years, as the number of people who smoke has drastically decreased, the number of new cases of lung cancer has risen 23%. Learning the warning signs is important and could help save your or a loved one’s life. 

Coughing, Chest Pain, and Breathlessness

  • Contact your doctor if you have a persistent cough that lasts more than a few weeks.
  • Symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain may also be a sign of a severe condition, such as pneumonia.
  • An ache or pain when breathing or coughing.
  • If you already have a chronic cough and the cough becomes worse (or even changes) could also be a sign of lung cancer.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you cough up blood.

Changes in Bowel Habits

  • If over the course of more than few weeks you notice symptoms like blood in your stool, or persistent diarrhea or constipation for no obvious reason, contact your doctor.
  • Similarly, a loss of appetite and rapid weight loss without dieting could be a warning sign.

Additional Physical Indications

  • Repeat chest infections, chest or shoulder pain can also be a warning sign.
  • Some people with lung cancer might suffer from "unexplained" fatigue or lack of energy.
  • Lung cancer may also show up when the fingertips swell at the end, known as "finger clubbing".
  • Blood clots could also be indicative of a growing tumor.

Less Common Signs of Lung Cancer

  • Difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing.
  • Swelling in the joints.
  • Drooping or weakness in one eyelid.

If a tumor has spread outside of the lungs, the first symptoms might include:

  • Back pain.
  • Bone pain or fracture.
  • Nerve or brain damage – this might affect walking, talking, behavior or memory.
  • Confusion
  • Yellowing of your skin or eyes, which could be jaundice.

If you're concerned you have symptoms of lung cancer, write down your experiences, and speak to your doctor to start investigating.

It may not be cancer, but it's better to get your health checked out.

If you are diagnosed with cancer, it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations. Advanced treatments are more effective than ever and the rates of survival are getting better and better. However, these advanced treatments can be expensive not only due to the medical costs, but also travel to the best treatment sites which sometimes are out of town. A Cancer Plan from INRTA and AMBA can help. Upon first diagnosis of internal cancer or malignant melanoma, our plan pays money directly to you. The money is paid at one time, in a single lump sum, and is yours to use however will best assist you during this challenging time. You can even add an optional heart and/or stroke rider for an additional premium to your plan. Learn more here or call 866-615-4063.

Sources:

https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/resource-library/lung-cancer-fact-sheet 

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

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