Diagnosing lung cancer is difficult because its symptoms may be confused with those of a persistent cold or cough caused by smoking. In most cases, the condition is diagnosed when metastases are already registered.
However, there are early signs that can dread the dreaded disease.
1. Joint pains
Scientists at Prato Hospital in Italy studied between 2000 and 2005 a number of 296 patients with knee pain and inflammation, finding that these symptoms may be associated with lung cancer. All patients were middle-aged men, chronic lifetime smokers, and it was demonstrated that in approximately 2% of patients, lung cancer was associated with arthritis of the knee, and after cancer was eliminated, knee pain disappeared. According to data from the American Cancer Association, about 85% of lung cancer cases belong to cell carcinomas, which are difficult to treat, and in one fifth of the cases, the disease spreads to the bones. "Coastal pain is usually an early sign of cancer and this facilitates diagnosis and treatment," said Dr. Giuliano Gros of Prato Hospital.
2. Falling eyelids
Falling eyelids may be a sign of facial paralysis, which results from a herpes virus that blocks the signals that the brain sends to the muscles of the face. Less commonly, fallen eyelids may indicate lung cancer.
3. Swollen fingers
Fingers with swollen toes can be a sign of lung cancer. The substance PGE2, which causes inflammation of the lungs, is secreted in excess of which the tumor, accumulates in the fingers and causes their inflammation.
Persistent coughing, especially in the absence of an obvious reason, such as cold or flu, is a warning sign.
5. Difficulty breathing
It is a symptom that appears late and usually signifies the obstruction or compression of a large bronchus. It may be accompanied by wheezing that does not disappear after coughing.
"It is good to have an x-ray if you have the following symptoms: cough, blood sputum, chest pain, dyspnoea, pneumonia or repeated bronchitis, fatigue, lack of appetite, unexplained weight loss, hoarseness, sweating of the face and neck", explains the pulmonologist Magdalena Ciobanu.
6. Chest pain
It may have a variable location and intensity, but it is always persistent in symptomatic treatment.
7. Expectoration with blood
It is the most alarming symptom for the patient. It is usually in small or medium amounts and occurs when ulcerative lesions of the bronchial mucosa develop.
8. Change of voice
It is normal to have a rough voice when you are cold, but if it happens without a cause, you must go to the doctor.