The disease most feared by society is cancer! The mere mention of the name triggers sorrow, pity, and anxiety.
Statistically, cancer is one of the biggest killers of humans. Most causes for cancer are still a puzzle. Though the main reason for lung cancer has been known for a while - smoking!
Cancer begins in the cells. Normally, the body builds new cells on demand to replace the old ones that then die. Sometimes, this process is disturbed and some cells continue to grow - uncontrolled - even though the original cells are still healthy and alive. As a result, the body produces more and more cells, but the old ones remain and continue to live. This disruption leads to a growth - also known as a tumor. Tumors can be benign or malignant. It is the malignant tumors however, that invade the body tissue and surrounding areas through the transmission of cancer cells. In this manner, the cancer transfers to other body parts and affects the organs and lymphatic system. The spread of cancer cells is known as metastasis.
One of the most common forms of cancer is lung cancer. There are 7 warning signs of lung cancer that we can watch out for:
1. Consistent cough
A cold, accompanied by a cough is nothing rare. Therefore, it is important to try and cure the cough. Most infectious diseases of the airways get better within a week. If the coughing remains for longier than 2 weeks, without getting better, a visit to the doctor is strongly recommended - especially when the cough includes bloody sputum.
2. Shortness of breath
Trouble breathing is a common symptom of patients with lung cancer. There can be different causes for this. As a result of the cancer, fluid can build in the lungs, dramatically reducing the lung capacity. It can also clog the blood vessels due to the growth of a tumor. If you suddenly don't have the stamina that you used to and climbing the stairs brings a sweat to your brow - even though you're usually quite the sporty type - then you should definitely see a doctor and get a checkup.
3. Pain in the chest, back and / or shoulder
Pain in the chest - which gets worse with every breath, laugh, or cough - is not something to be downplayed. The pain can also spread to your back or shoulders. However, this pain can also be the result of a bruised rib, an inflammation of the shoulder, or due to a strained back. It's still best to have these symptoms checked by a doctor to find out the cause of the pain.
4. Whistling sound when breathing
A whistling sound when breathing means that the air is trying to pass through narrow airways. This doesn't necessarily mean lung cancer as it could also be caused by another respiratory disease such as asthma. Nevertheless, this sound could be something serious and you should get it checked out by a medical practitioner.
5. Unexplainable weight loss
Around 15% of all cancer patients have already lost a drastic amount of weight before being diagnosed with cancer. The average person loses over 10% of their body weight before diagnosis. This is mainly because cancer directly influences the metabolism. Turn to your doctor if you lose a lot of weight in a short period of time due to a persistent lack of appetite.
6. Aching bones
Bones begin aching when lung cancer has already spread into the marrow. In particular, if the pain is in your spine, ribs, hips, or thighs then you should make an appointment with your doctor.
Headaches can often occur as a result of lung cancer. When the cancer cells metastasize in the brain, they put pressure on the blood vessels. These metastases decrease the blood flow through the arteries to the brain and therefore cause a pounding headache. If you often suffer from strong headaches, it doesn't mean that it's definitely because of cancer. It could also be a migraine. But if the headaches become more frequent and worse a visit to the doctor is unavoidable.
Of course, one doesn't instantly have cancer if one has one or more of these symptoms. It is, however, important to listen to your body's signals and, whenever in doubt, to consult an expert. Share this post with all of your friends. The sooner cancer is spotted, the greater the chance of beating the insidious disease!