How common is lung cancer?
Every year, about 4,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer was previously most common among men, but now about as many women as men get the disease.
Most patients are between 60 and 80 years old. Less than five percent are under the age of 50 at diagnosis.
Lung cancer symptoms
Many different symptoms can occur in lung cancer but the most common are:
- Cough or bloody cough
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest
- Weight loss, loss of appetite and fatigue
These are often signs of illness that are also common in other lung diseases. Unfortunately, the symptoms rarely appear at an early stage of the disease.
The most common symptom is cough. The cough is due to irritation in the mucous membrane of the airways, but can also be caused by the airways being compressed by the tumor so that you have to cough.
It can be either a dry cough or expectoration of mucus that sometimes contains blood. Bloody vomiting should always lead to a doctor’s visit. A cough that changes character in any way should also prompt a doctor’s visit.
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath at rest or with light exertion can be a symptom of lung cancer. Shortness of breath is then due to narrowing of the airways which makes it more difficult to breathe.
Pain in the chest
Chest pain can also be a sign of lung cancer, as well as wheezing or wheezing, which can occur if the disease leads to narrowing of the airways.
Pneumonia with fever, chills and sweating are sometimes symptoms of lung cancer. The reason is usually that the tumor has grown into a trachea so that it is clogged and inflamed.
Weight loss and loss of appetite
Weight loss will be followed by fatigue and constant tiredness.
For some patients, the first symptoms come from metastases, daughter tumors. Then the symptoms may be swollen lymph nodes on the neck or above the collarbone.
Difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and shortness of breath can also be caused by metastases. Spread can also occur to other parts of the body and then gives symptoms depending on the location.
How is lung cancer detected? When the doctor suspects that a patient has lung cancer, the first step is to take an X-ray of the lungs.
In most cases, the disease is detected on the X-ray. Both its location and size can usually be determined.