Lung cancer, for many, is one of the most frightening forms of cancer. It affects men and women alike and is actually the leading cause of cancer deaths in men (second in women). What few people know, however, is that lung cancer is not caused by smoking alone. In fact, people who have never smoked in their lives can develop the disease. Rather, smoking tobacco significantly increases the chances of developing it. The cause is of secondary importance for many people one they realize that they have it, however. Rather, they want to find out how to get better.
As with all cancers, early detection is key to a good prognosis. This means that being aware of lung cancer symptoms is very important. It will enable you to take early actions to increase your chances of beating this awful disease. Early intervention is vital.
What Is Lung Cancer?
The disease is caused by cells growing out of control within the pulmonary tissue. The main cause of this type of cancer is smoking, with 87% of diagnosed patients being smokers or ex-smokers. Other causes include the cytomegalovirus, BK viruses, simian virus 40 (SV40), JC virus, and human papillomavirus (HPV).
Key Lung Cancer Symptoms:
There are a number of lung cancer symptoms to be aware of. In the early stages, people tend to notice shortness of breath or dyspnea, coughing up blood or hemoptysis, abdominal or chest pain, wheezing, chronic coughing, fatigue, weight loss, and problems with swallowing. As the disease progresses, cancerous cells may start to obstruct the airways, making it more difficult to breathe. The result is that many patients develop pneumonia, leading to serious muscle weakness and other problems. In fact, pneumonia is usually one of the key symptoms that helps people find out that they have the disease.
There are also some non-specific symptoms to be aware of with lung cancer. These include weight loss, fever, and bone pain, to name but a few. This is because lung cancer is often very aggressive and spreads quickly to other parts of the body. It can start to affect the brain, the liver, the spinal cord, bones, and so on. When this happens, metastasis has occurred.
Because lung cancer is one of the most common cancer forms, it is vital that people become aware of the different lung cancer symptoms. Additionally, we must all know what can cause this horrible disease, so that we can make the appropriate lifestyle changes to help us prevent it. Naturally, this must start with giving up smoking, which will make our overall health and not just the health of our lungs, so much better. At the same time, you also have to be aware of all the other dangerous gases and substances, including asbestos and radon gas, and the various viruses, that can all cause lung cancer. If you have any doubt about your health, you should see a physician who can perform a full checkup of your body and determine whether your lungs are affected or not.