Understanding the Differences in Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs

Understanding the Differences in Lung Cancer Symptoms and Signs

In today’s society, we are ever more aware of the impact serious illnesses and diseases can have. This is never truer than in the case of cancers, which we are acutely made aware of on an almost daily basis. Whilst there is a wide variety of cancer types which can manifest in people, one of the most prominent is cancer of the Lung. Perhaps this is due to the mortality rate of sufferers or, more likely, it is down to the fact that this can be attributed in many cases to smoking, which even in today’s societies it can be seen as a cultural or socially accepted behaviour. A key to managing and surviving cancers such as this is in understanding Lung cancer symptoms and signs. Often an early recognition and diagnosis will vastly increase the likelihood of a successful treatment program.

Whilst many different forms of this type of cancer exist, there are two types of primary lung affecting cancers which have their own unique behaviours and which are treated in different ways due to how they react to conventional medicines. The first and most common form is known as small cell lung cancer (SCLC) which is the case in approximately 20% of cases. The second common form is known as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and this makes up the other 80% of diagnosed cases. The key differences here are that the symptoms and signs are different and that the small cell form is normally developed by people who have a history of smoking. It is very rare for non-smoking individuals to display lung cancer symptoms and signs associated with SCLC, which is an aggressive form which can spread rapidly and take hold quickly.

The second type of lung cancer mentioned above was Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (also known as NSCLC). While this type can be attributed to the vast majority of common cases, it can occur across a broad age group and is not limited to any one demographic. Within this type of cancer, there are many other sub-groups which can only be diagnosed scientifically within a laboratory. These types include sub-types such as large cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Of course there are further types which are less common, but no less publicised. One such example is Mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the membrane covering the lungs and chest. The reason we are so aware of this is due to the fact that Mesothelioma is normally caused by exposure to Asbestos.

So what are the lung cancer symptoms and signs associated with these types? While the symptoms can be numerous and often sufferers may experience a range of signs, the most common indicators include; a long lasting cough or chesty cough, a chest infection that remains for a substantial period, presence of blood in phlegm or spit, weight and appetite loss, an increase in breathlessness lethargy or difficulty swallowing. If you feel you or another may be displaying one or some of these symptoms, it is advisable to visit your doctor with these concerns without delay. By highlighting your concern about potential lung cancer symptoms and signs you could increase the chances of a speedy recovery should you be diagnosed with this disease.

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