11 Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Lung cancer, also known as bronchogenic carcinoma, is a form of cancer that originates in the lungs, and it is one of the most common types of cancer. It is also one of the leading causes of death in the world. Although any one can develop lung cancer, smokers have higher vulnerability than non-smokers.

Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that destroy the cells on the lining of the lungs. These chemicals are known as carcinogens. When carcinogens enter your lungs, they immediately begin to destroy the cells. Although your immune system may correct the damage at first, repeated smoking overwhelms your immune system. Overtime, your lung cells may lose their ability to function normally, leading to cancer. Other than smoking, exposure to radon gases, secondhand smoke, and asbestos increases the chances of developing lung cancer.

There are two major types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. While the former majorly attacks heavy smokers, the latter mostly attacks non-smokers and people who smoke occasionally. Non-small cell cancers usually have similar characteristics, and they include large cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma.

1. Coughing

A cough refers to a reflex action that occurs to clear your throat of any foreign substances or irritants. Although coughs are normal and infrequent, frequent coughs may imply a serious underlying condition, such as lung cancer. If you inhale cigarette smoke, radon gases, carcinogens, or other foreign substances, your throat or airways can be damaged. As a result, your immune system will cause you to cough in response to the damage.

Coughs resulting from bronchogenic carcinoma usually occur when the disease is at advanced stages. The coughs may be mild at first and less frequent. With time, they become more frequent and may fail to go away. Typically, this type of coughing is accompanied with other signs and symptoms, including chest pain. When the disease gets extremely serious, coughs may be accompanied with mucus discharge. Typically, the mucus will be bloody. Along with coughs, you may experience difficulty breathing. In severe cases, lung cancer coughs may become forceful, vigorous, and exhausting.