What Are The Symptoms Of Lung Cancer?

In most cases, the symptoms of lung cancer do not show until they have grown and spread further into other parts of the body. However, other people with lung cancer in its initial stages experience some indications. Seek immediate medical attention as early as possible or as soon as you notice any of the symptoms below for the illness to be diagnosed in time.

Long-Term Wheezing

Wheezing is a whistling sound that a person makes with a confined airway exhales. This is usually a symptom of lung cancer and many other related conditions. For the cancer patients, wheezing can be a result of tumor persistent on pressing on the airway. (1)

Shoulder/Arm Pain

When lung cancer grows and spreads to invade the nerve cells, it can lead to a condition known referred as Pancoast’s Syndrome – a type of pain in the shoulder that radiates down to the outside arm of the patient’s arm. When the pain is taking longer than normal, check with your physician because it could be a worsening lung cancer.

Recurring Cough

Smokers who all of a sudden start to experience an unexplained cough, or maybe you have been smoking, and now you experience a cough that is not a result of any respiratory infection or cold, it is important to see your doctor determine whether it is common illness or caused by lung cancer. It can also be lung cancer when the coughs don’t go away or continue worsening with time. (2)

Difficulty Swallowing Food

When lung cancer spreads to the esophagus of an individual, the person experiences difficulty in swallowing and simply pain in general. This symptom referred to as dysphagia can hugely impact on one’s life quality.

Chest Pain

Studies have shown that about 25 percent of lung cancer patients experience chest pain as a sign of developing the illness. People with lung cancer patients describe the chest pain as dull, yet a continuous ache. The chest pain may also affect other areas around lungs.

Hoarseness Of Voice

For Pancoast’s Syndrome, lung cancer can obstruct and at times paralyze the vocal cords especially if the lungs have spread from lungs to the nerves. As a result, this condition may make patients experience hoarseness whenever they are speaking.


Hemoptysis is when a person is coughing up blood. This is one of the commonest symptoms of lung cancer. According to experts in the field, it is that when you are coughing up any traces of blood, you need to visit a physician as soon as possible to determine the cause and commence the necessary treatment if possible.

If your lung cancer has spread deeper into body organs, it could result in:

  • Bone discomfort and pain
  • Changes in the nervous system when cancer spreads to the brain or the spinal cord – like a headache, body weakness or unresponsiveness of the arm or leg, balance difficulties or seizures and dizziness and many others.
  • Skin and eyes yellowing (jaundice) when the cancer has spread to the liver.
  • Lumps on various parts of the body when cancer spreads to the lymph nodes or skin.

Some of these symptoms are not caused by lung cancer and may happen depending on the other conditions of the body and environment, but not necessarily lung cancer. Nonetheless, if you experience any of the above symptoms of lung cancer, seek medical advice so the doctor can determine the cause and have it treated, if possible.


Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/prevention-and-early-detection/signs-and-symptoms.html

Cancer Treatment Centers of America. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from http://www.cancercenter.com/lung-cancer/symptoms/

7 Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved July 11, 2017, from http://www.healthcentral.com/slideshow/7-signs-and-symptoms-of-lung-cancer