Lung cancer aren’t obvious in the very early stages and can even be mistaken for less serious health conditions. The disease is one of the most common types of cancer in the UK, so being familiar with all the symptoms is very important. The most commonly associated symptoms with lung cancer, and the ones that usually appear first, include a cough, feeling out of breath, chest pain, feeling tired, weight loss, and blood in your mucus or phlegm. But if the tumour has advanced and spread outside the lungs, the first symptom may not come from the chest at all.
There are six signs to look out for, according to British Lung Foundation, if this is the case.
- Back pain
- Bone pain or fracture
- Nerve or brain damage – this might affect walking, talking, behaviour or memory
- Swallowing difficulties
- Jaundice – when your skin or eyes become yellow
While a cough is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer, they can also be caused by smoking, heartburn, allergies and infections.
So how do you know if your cough is linked to lung cancer? There are three signs to look out for, according to Cancer Research UK.
- It may be more painful
- It may have a different sound
- It may bring up coloured mucus or phlegm
Lung cancer can spread to different parts of the body and trigger different kinds of symptoms.
For example, lung cancer may spread to the lymph nodes – a system of tubes and glands in the body that filter body fluid and help fight infection.
The most common symptom if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes is that they are usually bigger than normal.
But lymph nodes also get bigger if you have an infection.
If lung cancer spreads to the liver you may experience discomfort or pain on the right side of your tummy, feel sick, have poor appetite and weight loss, have a swollen tummy, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, and itchy skin.