Lung cancer - Symptoms 

Symptoms of lung cancer 

There are usually no signs or symptoms in the early stages of lung cancer. However, symptoms develop as the condition progresses.

The main symptoms of lung cancer are listed below. If you have any of these, you should see your GP:

  • cough that doesn’t go away after two or three weeks
  • a long-standing cough that gets worse
  • persistent chest infections
  • coughing up blood
  • an ache or pain when breathing or coughing
  • persistent breathlessness
  • persistent tiredness or lack of energy
  • loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

Less common symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • changes in the appearance of your fingers, such as becoming more curved or their ends becoming larger (this is known as finger clubbing)
  • a high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F) or above 
  • difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
  • wheezing
  • a hoarse voice 
  • swelling of your face or neck
  • persistent chest or shoulder pain

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Page last reviewed: 02/08/2013

Next review due: 02/08/2015


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The 2 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Seviyorumcok said on 13 July 2014

RUNWELLIAN - I can totally relate to how you are feeling. I understand completely what it is like to be on the receiving end once you have been diagnosed with a Mental Health Disorder because I too have had problems and feel I get treated the way I do because they slap this label on you then decide it is ok to be derogatory and condscending to you when you speak to any health professional

For a number of years I have had increasingly laboured breathing and a pain when I breathe inwards which feels so uncomfortable, especially if I have fallen asleep on my back because when I wake I feel pain down the central area of my chest.

I am extremely fatigued and have lost a lot of weight too but when I asked my GP to get me a diagnosis I was told without having any tests done that I have Tietze's Syndrome, which is similar to your Costochondritis BUT I know my symptoms are not what these Dr's are diagnosing! I believe I have a form of lung cancer!

The advice I want to pass onto you is if you are not happy with how you are being treated by your GP/Dr then get a 2nd opinion from another GP/Dr which is the road I am now going down. If and only if they decide I have not got lung cancer after having all the tests associated with it I will then be happy but I refuse to be labelled with a Syndrome because the GP/Dr I have already seen is too obstinate to do a thorough check on me for what could potentially be a death sentence for me.

I will you well and I do hope you get the answers you are looking for.

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runwellian said on 16 May 2014

I have had breathlessness since 2002 gradually getting worse.

In 2007 I was told i had mild asthma, I struggled to believe this as asthma does not develop of the blue.
I have never smoked but worked as nurse in mental hospital where 'smoky environments' were the norm.
For the past eighteen months cough has become very persistent. controlling my life.
I am now unable to leave my home without a real struggle, I have osteoarthritis which may require knee replacement (waiting assessment), I have pain in the ribs but was told this was chostochondritis due to coughing. I have periodic severe pain in my right shoulder. I find it hard to talk a full sentence ... but ams still told this is asthma. In the past mont I have a double course of antibiotics and a course of steroids, which worked for just over a week then the cough was back.

Because i have a history of mental health problems, I feel everyone attributes my problems to mental health, when in fact it is my physical health that is making me very depressed.

If I have asthma, then treatment (Ventolin / Seretide) doe snot work, using an inhaler doesn't help.
It is is likely to be something more worrying, then it is being overlooked because of mental health issues, sure sign that we don't matter!

Where can I find a service that will do a proper evaluation of my health and get the root cause of my cough?

Where can I get a full body scan that might reveal something not see on x-ray ... which have been clear during hospital stays just before Christmas.

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Coughing up blood

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