It is generally known that in Europe smoking causes 85 per cent of cases of lung cancer. It is the most common form of cancer in men and the second most common in women.
The news is not good for the non-smoking part of the population, as research has shown that illness occurs in approximately 30 percent of non-smokers and young people who live a healthy life.
The percentage of diseased non-smokers is constantly increasing, and such data are attributed to the increasing environmental pollution, the use of paints and varnishes in the industry, asbestos in construction, passive smoking, and various genetic factors.
All of these are more than sufficient reasons for each of us to learn to recognize the symptoms that can point to malignant lung changes even if we are not smokers.
Talk to your doctor about the suspicious symptoms, especially if they are long lasting and if you can not mitigate them with the usual methods.
1. Long-term cough – Cough that becomes worse and more intense over time is a clear sign of alert. Dense rust mucus may be an early sign of the disease, and a dry cough that lasts more than a month should also be checked.
2. Chronic infections – Most of the time, viruses or bacteria are responsible for pulmonary infection such as bronchitis and inflammation of the lungs. However, if you get sick a number of times and you seem to think that each disease goes straight into your chest, it could be a sign of lung cancer. These infections can be caused by the tumor itself or due to the weakened immune system, research suggests.
3. Chest pain – Chronic chest pain is one of the most obvious signs of lung cancer, especially if it becomes more intense in deep breathing, coughing or laughing. Pay attention if the pain spreads to the back and shoulders. Regardless of whether the pain is blunt or sharp, talk to your doctor if it takes a long time.
4. Sudden and unexplained weight loss – As with any type of cancer, an advanced tumor can produce proteins that in your body cause weight loss. Therefore, you may notice a decline in appetite.
5. Bone pain – If lung cancer spreads to other organs in your body, you may feel pain deep in the bones or wrists. Often the pain moves into the area of the back and hips.
6. General Tiredness – The usual fatigue differs in that you feel so exhausted that you will hardly wait to lie in bed, and even after a long-lasting dream you will not feel better. Similar tiredness occurs in depression and in some other conditions, so consult your doctor to make sure you have accurately detected the source of your fatigue.
7. Weakness in muscle – Lung cancer affects your muscles as well as other organs in the body. One of the first areas that attack you are hips to the extent that you may find it difficult to get out of the chair. The weakness in the shoulders, arms and legs is also characteristic. Lung cancer cells can produce certain hormones or cause your immune system to attack the parts of your nervous system that directly affects your muscles, leading to weakness.
8. Swelling of the neck and face – If the tumor of the lung begins to press your upper hollow vein (the large vein that carries blood from the head and hands to the heart), you may notice swelling of the neck and face. Hands and upper chest can also be affected.
9. High levels of calcium in the blood – Some forms of lung cancer produce substances like hormones that disturb the balance of minerals in your body, which in some cases leads to excess calcium in the bloodstream. Although you may not be aware of it until your doctor has asked you for a laboratory test, you should look out for these symptoms: frequent urination, excessive thirst, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, and dizziness.