Lung Cancer Symptoms: How Do You Know If You Have Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is a typical health condition that causes an uncontrolled growth of abnormal or cancerous cells in one/both the lungs. It primarily affects the cells that line the air passages. The cancerous cells multiply rapidly and form tumours. When the tumours spread to a wide area, they start undermining the lung’s ability to provide blood and oxygen. There are majorly two types of lung cancer – Primary and Secondary. The first one begins in the lungs while the second one originates somewhere else in the body, metastasizes and reaches the lungs. The symptoms are not noticeable in the initial stage of the disease. Listed here are some of the early symptoms that may help you to perform an early screening to minimize the fatal consequences –

  1. A cough that won’t quit – A cough that occurs due to cold or respiratory infection and goes away in a week or two. However, the cough that persists longer than 2 months can be one of the common lung cancer symptoms that you mustn’t avoid. Whether it is dry or produces mucus, it is highly suggested to get a test done at the earliest.
  2. Changes in the cough – Any major changes while coughing should be paid attention to. If the cough becomes chronic in nature, deeper or sounds hoarse or if you are coughing up blood, it is suggested to immediately visit a doctor.
  3. Severe pain in the Chest – Along with coughing, one of the major lung cancer symptoms include pain in the chest, shoulders and back. Consult your doctor, if the pain is sharp, constant, dull or intermittent in nature. Chronic chest pain may result in enlargement of the lymph nodes or metastasis to the chest wall. This condition is known as Pleura.
  4. Breathing Changes – Shortness of breath or breathlessness can also be a possible symptom of Lung cancer. The tumours tend to block the air passage of the lungs. This causes breathing problems such as shortness of breath or breathlessness. Make a point of noticing this major change along with other above-mentioned symptoms and consult the doctor at the earliest.
  5. Sudden or Excessive Weight Loss – Weight loss can occur due to a plethora of reasons. One of them is Lung Cancer. An unexplained weight loss of 10 to 15 kgs can be associated with major cancer problems. It is one of the most common early lung cancer symptoms that you must not ignore or avoid!
  6. Pain in Bones – Secondary symptoms may cause pain in bones especially pain in the lower back. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to differentiate between bone and muscle pain. Bone pain mainly occurs at night and increases with movement.
  7. Excessive Headache – Though very uncommon in nature, but in extreme cases, excessive headache may related to lung cancer. The tumor present in the lungs may create pressure in the Superior Vena Cava. It is a type of large vein that moves the blood from upper body to the heart. This pressure can, in rare cases, trigger headaches.

What Do Asbestosis Symptoms Consist Of?

Asbestosis is a disease caused exclusively by asbestos exposure. On an average, 10,000 people die in the United States due to asbestos diseases. People who worked in risk conditions during the mid twentieth century are diagnosed with several asbestos related problems. Constant and continuous exposure to asbestos results in inhalation of asbestos dust, particles and fibers which cause asbestosis. People in the household who inhale asbestos fibers that clung to shoes and clothes are also at risk.

What Is Asbestosis?

When people working in at-risk occupations inhale asbestos, the fibers enter the lungs and cause asbestosis. It is a severe and progressive pulmonary disease. The disease is dangerous because asbestosis symptoms show up only after asbestos fibers cause damage to the lungs. Moreover, this damage is irreversible and damage can’t be undone.

Treatments for asbestosis prevent further damage and people will remain affected for the entire life span. Once asbestosis symptoms are experienced, there is no going back and treatments help in making breathing comparatively easier. Patients are kept at close watch to find out whether asbestosis grows to mesothelioma.

Asbestosis Symptoms

Asbestosis has a longer latency period which means that the disease develops after several years of exposure. When asbestosis symptoms show up, it is an indication that damage has already been caused. Typically, the symptoms are noticeable at least 20 to 30 years after exposure. It is for this reason that patients with asbestosis belong to the elderly category. Early diagnosis of asbestosis symptoms can prevent damage to some extent. It is better to consult a physician after you suspect that you may be exposed to asbestos.

The most evident of the asbestosis symptoms is difficulty in breathing during physical exertion. Generalized illness and sick feeling is noticed in most of the patients. Persistent dry cough is also one of the most common asbestosis symptoms. Fluid accumulation in the lungs is the reason for dry cough. Asbestos fibers cause scarring of lung tissues and this may lead to cancerous growth. However, asbestosis is not exactly a type of cancer. Stiffness of chest wall is also experienced by asbestosis patients and mild breathing difficulty should not be ignored. Coughing and wheezing will be experienced by asbestosis patients who smoke.

Asbestosis symptoms intensify every year and breathing may become increasingly difficult. About 15% of asbestosis patients suffer from shortness of breath and respiratory failure. Recurrent respiratory infections can’t be avoided with scarred lungs. Coughing up blood indicates that the disease has increased in severity. Hoarseness and restless sleep due to difficult breathing is experienced by asbestosis patients. Some patients have thickened and widened fingers. Pleural layer of the lungs will be inflamed due to the scars caused by asbestos fibers.

Facts About Asbestos Exposure Symptoms

Asbestos is a material that has been mined and used for many years. It was used mainly in the construction industry. This is until ailments related to this element became evident. The first case was as far back as 1964. The microscopic fibers that make up this element are inhaled from the air as dust. This eventually accumulates in the lungs resulting in the asbestos exposure symptoms.

Being exposed to this element affects the lungs. As such a number of ailments are the result of this. Typically such ailments include asbestosis lung cancer and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is the condition with a high prevalence. All these result from continued inhalation of the dust that contains the microscopic fibers. These fibers are lodged in the lungs where their deposits continue to grow. This will later affect the lung anatomy and eventually affect their proper functioning.

Most of the people affected by such material are those working at industries or mines. Continued contact with this element generally leads to risks and ailment associated to this element. Sometimes such people carry the microscopic fibers on their clothes or bodies to their families where the family members eventually develop side effects from secondary contact.

Being exposed to this element can cause lung inflammation that leads to coughing and shortness of breath. This is typical of the asbestosis ailment. Mesothelioma an extra ordinary cancer of the abdomen chest cavity and lung lining is also linked to this vulnerability. These ailments are directly linked to the continuous inhalation of the dust.

Generally the vulnerabilities associated with this substance depend on several factors. The amount of the element that one is exposed to is one of them. The length of time a person has been in contact with the element is another factor. The structure of the fiber as a part of the element and other prevailing ailments like lung cancer also determines the vulnerability.

The longer the fibers remain in the lungs the more profound their effect on the health of the person. Generally full blown indications have been experienced after fifteen years or more of regular contact with the element. This makes the asbestos exposure symptoms exceptional.

Up to thirty people in every one million annually suffer from one of the commonly associated conditions. Additionally mesothelioma has affected over ten million people by 1978. Generally the dormant periods vary between twenty five and fifty years. After treatment close to thirty percent attain a lifespan of five years.