What are the symptoms of lung cancer?

By: Rukmini Chopra

Published On: October 15, 2018

Watch out for these warning signs of lung cancer. Read on! 

Lung cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and has resulted in several deaths worldwide. It comprises of 13% of all new cancer cases and 19% of cancer related deaths on a global scale. 

The disease constitutes of 6.9% of all new cancer cases and 9.3 % of cancer deaths in India in both males and females. Lung cancer results in 13.8 million deaths per year. 

In order to detect lung cancer in time, it is vital for all to first understand the signs and symptoms of the disease. However, let’s start with the basic question:

What is lung cancer?


Lung cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the lungs and is more likely to strike those who smoke. Some of the biggest contributors of lung cancer include smoking, passive smoking, pollution, people working in professions such as construction, mining, carpet cleaning etc. 

What are the causes of lung cancer? 

Certain factors can put you at an increased risk of lung cancer. These are: 

1: Smoking 

Smoking has been identified as the leading cause of cancer in India. Smoking of cigarettes, pipes, beedis, hookah, cigars, etc.are harmful for health. 

2: Passive smoking   

If you spend most of your time around people who smoke, you are at a risk of developing lung cancer too. Passive smoking has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer.

passive-smoking3: Family history of lung cancer 

People hailing from families with a history of lung or any form of cancer, are at an increased risk of developing cancer.

4: Exposure to radon gas

The natural breakdown of uranium in soil, water and rock produces radon, that eventually becomes a part of the air you intake. However, increased levels of radon in the air can be harmful for health. 

5: Work environments 

If you work in field such as mining, carpet cleaning, etc. you may be at an increased risk of developing lung cancer due to the air you breathe. 

What are the early signs of lung cancer? 

Watch out for these early signs of lung cancer to get the disease detected in time…

1: Coughing


While coughing is natural and general when a patient is suffering from a common cold, it can be a cause of concern if the cough remains for more than a week or two. If you have been suffering from a persistent cough for a long time, it’s a good idea to get yourself checked. 

2: Breathing difficulties 

A lung cancer can block your airway or narrow it, resulting in breathing difficulties. This can also happen if a fluid from a lung tumour builds up in the chest. If you find yourself out of breath occasionally or wheezing, take it as a warning sign. Even noisy breathing called stridor, should be shown to a doctor. 

3: Coughing up blood 

Coughing up blood is a serious symptom, be it any disease. If you find yourself coughing blood, or heavy amounts of phlegm, consult a doctor immediately. 

4: Loss of appetite


There are times when one doesn’t feel like eating for various reasons and that’s normal. However, if you lose your appetite completely and even one meal seems like a struggle, get yourself checked. Staying without food for a prolonged period can have a severe impact on your health. 

5: Extreme fatigue 

Feeling extremely fatigued, to the point where your day to day life begins to get hampered, is a warning sign. Feeling tired once in awhile is okay. However the inability to do everyday chores, is a cause for concern. 

6: Recurring infections

Do you feel like you fall sick a lot? Repeated infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia should be checked by a doctor. 

Symptoms of advanced stage of lung cancer in men and women 

The symptoms of lung cancer are significantly different when it reaches an advanced stage. They are: 

1: Unexplained weight loss 


When you find yourself losing weight rapidly, despite eating healthy or not working ou, alert your doctor immediately. Weight loss is one of the most common signs of a developing cancer. 

2: Pain in the bones 

This sign may seem unrelated to lung cancer but should be taken seriously nonetheless. If you experience severe pain in your bones and joints, get yourself checked at the earliest. 

3: Swelling 

An advanced stage of lung cancer and result in swelling in the face, arms or neck.

4: Nausea 

Do you feel giddy and dizzy? Are you suffering from frequent headaches and nausea? Don’t ignore it as this can also be a symptom of lung cancer. 

5: Lumps 

If you feel a part of your skin in the neck or collar bone feels bumpy and elevated, it can be a lump, that should be shown to the doctor right away. 

6: Fractures


Yes this may seem like a rather strange symptom. However, it shouldn’t be ignored. If you are suffering from fractures, despite not suffering from any injury, take it as a warning sign. 

7: Memory loss or unsteady gait 

Losing balance while walking or standing or forgetting details you could remember easily otherwise, is one of the rare symptoms of lung cancer. 

Crowdfunding for lung cancer 

Cancer treatment in India is exorbitant; chemotherapy sessions can cost anywhere between Rs. 20 lakhs to 30 lakhs and a surgery can exceed this amount. Most Indians do not have insurance covers and many of them aren’t eligible for loans, owing to their poor economic backgrounds. 

They are forced to borrow money from their friends and relatives, thereby facing the pressure of returning the funds.  However, crowdfunding is providing to be a much needed relief for such helpless souls.

crowdfunding-impact-guruCrowdfunding is a practice of raising funds online, with the help of a large crowd. You can ask each person to contribute a certain amount to reach the goal amount. Many Indians have benefitted from crowdfunding on Impact Guru. You can read the success stories here

Crowdfunding is saving millions of lives and making several dreams come true. Do you wish to be a part of this movement? Start your fundraiser here

We suggest you also read: 

What Are The Symptoms Of Throat Cancer?

Breast Cancer Symptoms And Causes: Watch Out For These Warning Signs  

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