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Lung Cancer Signs, Symptoms and Types

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer?

Unfortunately, symptoms of lung cancer don’t show up until after the disease has already advanced, that is why early detection is so important. Often patients will mistake these general symptoms as other problems.  Coughing up blood, shortness of breath, and chest pain are often late signs of lung cancer. It is important to pay attention to your body and if you do experience any of these symptoms, be sure to talk to your doctor

Early Warning Signs for Lung Cancer

While often hard to detect, these symptoms can be early warning signs for lung cancer:

  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • No appetite and/or weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood

Advanced Warning Signs for Lung Cancer

It’s important to be cautious of the warning signs since lung cancer can begin to spread through the body. Advanced lung cancer symptoms may include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes in the upper body
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Jaundice (yellow coloring) of skin and eyes
  • Bone pain

Although these advanced lung cancer symptoms are related to lung cancer, they do not always mean you have lung cancer. Discuss any concerns with your doctor to determine the right diagnosis.

What Are the Two Types of Lung Cancer?

There are two different types of lung cancer: non-small cell and small cell lung cancer. While each of these types of lung cancers start in the same place, non-small cell and small cell lung cancer vary. Read on to learn the differences between non-small cell versus small cell lung cancer.

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

Non-small cell lung cancer is the more common type of lung cancer and is a curable cancer that has larger cells compared to small cell lung cancer. Named after the cells in this lung cancer, there are three types of non-small cell lung cancer, including: adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and large cell carcinoma.

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC)

Small cell lung cancer is more aggressive, and in the advanced stages, small cell lung cancer is much more difficult to treat. People who previously smoked are more likely to get small cell lung cancer than non-small cell lung cancer.

Symptoms may vary from patient to patient. Let Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center help determine your diagnosis today to get you the best care possible.

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