Every person has two lungs. These large organs are made out of a spongy material and are under the rib cage and above the diaphragm. As a person breathes in, the lungs absorb oxygen. This oxygen is then delivered to the bloodstream and is pumped throughout the body. When a person exhales, the lungs remove carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. The lungs are one of the most important organs in the body, which is why it is important to note any changes in breathing that may occur for long periods of time.
Cancer that develops in the lungs interferes with this entire process and can make breathing difficult. Most of the time, lung cancers will not cause a person to have any symptoms until the cancer has spread. However, some people who have early stages of the disease do have symptoms. Going to the doctor when you first notice these symptoms may mean that your cancer is diagnosed at an earlier stage. The earlier that the cancer is detected, the more likely that treatment will be effective.
Here are 13 symptoms of lung cancer to be aware of.
1. Persistent Cough
If you develop a cough that is persistent it could be a symptom of lung cancer. A cough that is associated with a respiratory infection or a cold should go away after a couple of weeks. However, if you have a cough that lasts longer than this it could be as sign of something else.
Do not dismiss a cough that will not go away, no matter what type of cough that it is, one that produces mucus or one that is dry. You should see your doctor promptly. During the visit your doctor will listen to the lungs and may even order an x-ray or other diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the cough.