Generally, lung cancer is diagnosed too late. Faced with advanced stages, the therapeutic means are not very effective. This is why pulmonologists are now trying to develop new preventive approaches based on the screening of high-risk subjects.
How to reduce the desperately high mortality of bronchopulmonary cancer? By earlier diagnosis of tumors. In any case, this is the hope of the pulmonologists, who wish by pursuing such a strategy, to improve the rate of curable cancers.
Discover the signs to treat the disease in its infancy and ensure a positive result.
Lung cancer may not produce visible symptoms in the early stages. For about 40% of people diagnosed with this cancer, the diagnosis is made after the disease has progressed. For one third of those diagnosed, the cancer has reached stage 3.
Be very careful if you have a persistent cough. While a cough associated with a respiratory infection or a cold will go away after a week or two, a persistent cough may be a possible sign of lung cancer. See your doctor immediately. He or she will listen to your lungs and may order an x-ray or other tests.
Change of cough
Pay attention to any changes in a chronic cough, especially if you smoke. If you cough more often, if your cough has a deeper or hoarse sound, or if you spit blood or more mucus than usual, it’s time to see your doctor.
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing are also possible symptoms of lung cancer. This problem can happen if the tumors have narrowed the airways, or if the fluid from a lung tumor builds up in the chest. If this problem occurs after climbing stairs, carrying groceries, or doing another task, do not ignore the problem.
Lung cancer can cause pain in the chest, shoulder or back. This painful feeling can not be associated with coughing. Tell your doctor if you notice chest pain, if it is strong, dull, or constant. You should also note if it is located in a specific area or if it is located throughout your chest. When lung cancer causes chest pain, discomfort can result from lymph nodes or metastases to the chest wall, pleura (membrane enveloping the lungs), or ribs.
When the airways are constricted, blocked, or inflamed, the lungs produce hissing when you breathe. Wheezing may be associated with several causes, some of which are benign and easily treatable. Nevertheless, wheezing is also a symptom of lung cancer, which is why it deserves the attention of your doctor. If wheezing continues, do not assume it is asthma or allergies. Ask your doctor to confirm what causes this.
Change of voice
If you notice a significant change in your voice, or if someone else notices that your voice sounds deeper, hoarse, check with your doctor. The hoarseness can be caused by a simple cold, but this symptom becomes worrying when it stays for more than two weeks. Hoarseness related to lung cancer can occur when the tumor affects the nerve that controls the larynx.
Unexplained weight loss of 5 kilograms or more may be associated with this cancer or other type of cancer. When cancer is present, this weight loss can result from cancer cells that pump energy into the body.
Bone lung cancer can cause pain in the back or other areas of the body. This pain can worsen at night by sleeping on your back. In addition, it is sometimes associated with shoulder, arm, or neck pain, although it is less common. Pay attention to your aches and pains, and discuss with your doctor.
Headaches can be a sign that lung cancer has spread to the brain. All headaches in people with this cancer are associated with brain metastases. Sometimes a lung tumor can create pressure on the superior vena cava, which is the large vein that carries blood from the upper body to the heart. This pressure can also trigger headaches.
Chest X-rays are not effective in detecting this cancer at an early stage. Nevertheless, computed low-dose tomography (CT) has been shown to be effective in reducing lung cancer mortality by 20 percent, according to a 2011 study. In the study, 53,454 people at high risk of lung cancer cancer were randomly assigned to a CT scan or a radio. Low dose CT scans were better able to detect lung cancer. There were also significantly fewer deaths due to this disease in the low-dose CT group.
For high risk patients
The study prompted the US Preventive Services Task Force to recommend that people at high risk for lung cancer be screened for computed tomography. The recommendation only concerns people who:
– Are over 30 years old with a history of smoking
– are between 55 and 79 years old
– have smoked for the last 15 years
Talk to your doctor about whether CT screening is appropriate for you.