Correctly interpret warning signals, symptoms and signs

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Of: Caroline Gehrman


Lung cancer is the third most common type of cancer in Germany. At first, the disease causes almost no symptoms, but some signs should be checked by a doctor.

Bremen – Lung cancer is a dreaded diagnosis. Of all cancer types, lung cancer has the highest mortality rate in Germany. The insidious aspect of the disease is that it causes almost no or no symptoms at first, like colon cancer, and is therefore often only discovered at a late stage. For those affected, the diagnosis often comes unexpectedly.

The earlier the tumor is discovered, the greater the chances of recovery. It is therefore important to be aware of the first signs and symptoms of cancer, especially lung cancer, and to consult a doctor immediately if you suspect it. Symptoms can also be caused by completely different, harmless illnesses.

Lung Cancer Symptoms in Women and Men: Spot the Signs Early

In Germany, there are no regulated prevention services for lung cancer, unlike colon cancer or breast cancer, for which there are regular early detection services. Therefore, possible symptoms should always be taken seriously and a doctor’s office should be consulted at the first signs – as this significantly increases the chances of survival.

What are the chances of surviving lung cancer?

Lung cancer has noise Robert Koch Institute a rather unfavorable prognosis. About 18 out of 100 patients are still alive after 5 years (21 women and 15 men). However, as with all types of cancer, the chances of survival improve significantly if the tumor is detected at an early stage. That’s why it’s so important to know the signs and avoid risk factors like smoking.

Detect lung cancer at an early stage: Lung tumors initially cause no symptoms or symptoms

Lung tumors or “bronchial carcinomas” usually cause no symptoms at first. Moreover, there are actually no symptoms that clearly indicate lung cancer. Some signs of lung cancer can also be caused by other illnesses such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

Lung carcinomas are malignant growths that arise from lung tissue. They can develop in any part of the lungs, but most often in the upper parts of the lungs. According to German Cancer Society (DKG) probably because they are more ventilated during respiration and are more exposed to harmful substances than other sections.

What are the signs and symptoms of lung cancer?

  • Cough (especially if it lasts longer than three weeks with no other known cause, or if a chronic cough worsens)
  • weightloss
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • bloody spit in case of prolonged coughing or expectoration, even if there is no blood in it
  • bone pain
  • thickened fingertips (drumstick fingers)

Recognizing Lung Cancer: Atypical Symptoms and Signs May Indicate Disease

However, other symptoms may also occur that do not immediately indicate lung disease. This includes bone painunexplained fever outbreaks and swollen lymph nodes too general Feeling weak, loss of performance and exhaustion. These are indications of cancer in general, not just lung cancer. It is therefore important to pay attention to these changes in your own body and to be aware of the first signs of cancer.

If lung cancer is detected too late, the chances of recovery decrease significantly. It is all the more important to know the first signs. © Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

Noticing one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have cancer, like this German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) stress. Symptoms can also be caused by other illnesses, such as chronic bronchitis or pneumonia.

What pain does lung cancer cause? What are the other complaints?

Since lung tumors can cause chest pain, these symptoms should be investigated by a doctor, especially in smokers, as they pose an increased risk of lung cancer, reports

If the cancer is already at an advanced stage and metastases have already formed, these can also cause symptoms. Noisy DKFZ Those affected then often notice something about their illness for the first time – these are, so to speak, the first indications that something is wrong.

What is lung cancer pain?

the Pains, that occur in lung cancer can vary greatly in type and severity. But it doesn’t have to be painful. Besides being persistent and oppressive Pains in the chest area can also Pains in the back area occur when the tumor spreads to the spine.

When bones are attacked by cancer cells, it can joint and bone pain come.

With metastases in the bones, patients often have severe pain DKFZ often misinterpreted as osteoarthritis. If the liver is affected, the result is weight loss, weakness, and fatigue as rather nonspecific symptoms.
Metastases in the brain can cause neurological symptoms, such as paralysis, headaches, but also confusion, seizures or personality changes.

Increased risk of smoking-related lung cancer in men and women

Experts agree that smoking is the biggest risk factor for lung cancer. Noisy DKFZ it is assumed in professional circles that nine out of ten affected men get lung cancer from smoking or smoked once. For women, it’s six out of ten.

So his advice is: If you want to prevent lung cancer, you should not smoke or quit smoking as soon as possible. From the first day without cigarettes, you stop inhaling harmful substances. And the longer the smoke-free period, the lower the personal risk of developing lung cancer.

Non-smokers can also develop lung cancer – genes play a role

But non-smokers can also develop lung cancer. Genes also play a role in the development of lung tumors. While smoking remains the main risk factor, the two risk factors seem to act independently, according to a British study published in the journal British Journal of Cancer emerges.

The study also calculated that quitting smoking could have prevented more than three-quarters of lung cancers that occurred during the study period.

Know and avoid cancer risk factors – because medical screening is not yet possible

There is currently no regulated medical screening for the early detection of lung cancer. Noisy DKFZ However, experts are currently examining whether heavy smokers can be offered early detection. Low-radiation computed tomography could be used as a method.

So that ideally such an examination does not have to be carried out in the first place, medical professionals generally recommend a healthy lifestyle, as it has been shown to reduce the general risk of cancer – including that of cancer of the lung. Whether you are a non-smoker or a smoker, it is important to keep the risk of cancer as low as possible. If possible, a healthy and balanced diet and sufficient physical activity should be ensured. It also reduces the risk of other diseases such as heart attacks, diabetes or strokes.

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