When it comes to your health, you should use every tool at your disposal to take care of your body and keep it in the best condition possible. While proper actions to prevent and treat disease are essential, so is knowledge. Learn the early warning signs and what to watch for so you can distinguish between a symptom that is simply annoying, or that could be a sign of something more serious.
You probably already know the more common signs and symptoms of lung cancer, such as cough, respiratory problems, and even unexplained weight loss. However, there are other indications in areas of the body aside from the lungs that could indicate that something could be wrong. While smoking is the main cause of this type of cancer, non-smokers can also be affected, so learn how to spot the warnings signs.
Arm and Shoulder Pain
When a tumour from lung cancer forms in the upper part of the lung, it can cause pain in the arm or shoulder. It’s also possible that cancer can spread to other areas such as the ribs or vertebrae. Growths in these locations can cause pressure and pain that can be felt in the shoulders or arms. Some people may also experience tingling or numbness in their hands.
Most people don’t associate balance problems with a disease like lung cancer. However, when a tumour forms near the vein called the superior vena cava, it can block off the flow of blood that is returning to the heart from the arms and head. This interrupted blood flow is responsible for feelings of dizziness and being unsteady to the point of frequently losing your balance.
The blockage may also provoke headaches. Additionally, many people that have lung cancer suffer from anaemia at the same time. This condition is frequently associated with a loss of balance.
A very noticeable sign of lung cancer is the development of clubbed fingers. This is characterised by the widening of the fingers at the tips. Sufferers may also see that the skin surrounding their nails is shiny, or that the nails are beginning to form a downward curve.
It’s certainly possible that the source of clubbed fingers has nothing to do with cancer, but since a significant number of people who present with this symptom have lung cancer, it’s essential to get it checked out.
A type of lung cancer that causes a Pancoast tumour can have accompanying eye symptoms. These are experienced on one side of the face and include a pupil smaller than the other eye, a drooping eyelid, or less sweat only on that side. These symptoms are referred to as Horner Syndrome.
High calcium levels are common in lung cancer patients. This increased calcium in the bloodstream may cause stomach issues such as nausea, constipation, or upset. If you have new stomach problems or notice a difference in what feels normal to you, check with your doctor.
Another symptom to be watchful for is bone pain. You may feel weakness or aching that is made worse when you are in a reclined position, moving around, or at night. These indicators generally distinguish bone pain from muscle pain. This type of pain may happen if cancer from the lungs has begun to spread to the back, pelvis, or other bones.
Keep yourself as healthy as possible by making good lifestyle choices and eliminating risky habits such as smoking. Also, anytime that you notice something new or unusual, make an appointment with your doctor to address your concerns. If there is a problem to be found, early detection is best.