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Lung cancer symptoms: Signs of the disease that are often ignored

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, which is why it’s important to recognise all the signs and symptoms. As well as being easily mistaken for other health conditions, symptoms don’t tend to be obvious until the tumour in the lungs has grown or spread outside the lungs. There are seven easily overlooked symptoms the British Lung Foundation outlines. If you experience any of these you should see your doctor. They may not always mean you have lung cancer, but it’s always best to check.

The symptoms it lists are:

  • A cough
  • Feeling out of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Feeling tired
  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • A hoarse voice
  • Blood in mucus or phlegm

A cough is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer, but 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.

These are:

  • It may be more painful
  • It may have a different sound
  • It may bring up coloured mucus or phlegm

If the tumour has grown and spread outside the lungs, different symptoms may develop.

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.

The symptoms of lung cancer has spread to the brain, bones, and adrenal glands are revealed here. 

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