Learn about your health | 10 Lesser-Known Lung Cancer Symptoms
Since there is no widely recognized method of early lung cancer detection, unlike PSA for prostate cancer or mammography for breast cancer, 85% of lung cancer is found symptomatically.
Unfortunately, by the time symptoms are apparent and properly diagnosed, the lung cancer tends to be in an advanced stage—that is one of the reasons why the 5 year survival rate is only 15%, with nearly half of newly diagnosed patients not surviving the first year.
Because of these staggering statistics, we recently posted a blog, as well as a full page about the top 10 lung cancer symptoms—but we felt that alone wasn’t enough.
A recent post on care.com details some of the lesser-known lung cancer symptoms. It is important to know all possible symptoms of lung cancer, especially if you are at an increased lung cancer risk for any reason.
A few of the lesser known lung cancer symptoms include:
1. Persistent cough or hoarseness
2. Deep chest pain when you cough or laugh
3. Shortness of breath or wheezing
4. Reddened, rust-colored, or bloody phlegm
5. Getting recurrent infections, like pneumonia or bronchitis
6. Thickened, painful fingertips (caused by abnormal bone growth)
7. Weight loss or lack of appetite
8. Abnormal breast growth in men
9. Mood swings, depression, or lethargy in someone who hasn’t been depressed before
10. Sudden onset of irritability, aggression, and temper; could be characterized as “everything gets to him.”
As this list clearly shows, many of these symptoms are not only common for long term smokers, but are non-specific symptoms associated with many maladies. This can make diagnosis trickier, and is all the more reason to pay attention if you or a loved one are experiencing lung cancer symptoms, and are at an increased lung cancer risk.
Given the poor prognosis for most symptomatically detected lung cancer cases—in 50% of diagnosed cases, the patient does not survive the first year—the need for early detection is critical.
According to data from the National Cancer Institute, the average five-year survival rate for a lung cancer patient is only 15%. If the cancer is caught in the later stages, after it has spread, that number can drop all the way down to 4%.
The key to fighting lung cancer is catching the disease in its earliest stages, when the five-year survival rate jumps to more than 50%.
Talk about the symptoms with your loved ones and take action in discovering lung cancer when it’s in its earliest stages, and the survival rates are higher. The more you know about the symptoms of lung cancer, the better prepared you and your loved ones will be.
To learn more about Oncimmune’s EarlyCDT-Lung, the blood test to aid in the early detection of lung cancer, please visit www.HelloHaveYouHeard.com. The test is covered by Medicare Part B and all private insurance companies (Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, etc.). Since its commercial release in 2009, it has helped find numerous lung cancer cases, and is currently being used by several hundred doctors across the United States.