Hoarseness and Other Early Signs of Lung Cancer

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Download this free informational resource as your guide to lung cancer.

Tobacco smoke, radon and asbestos are the main drivers behind increasing lung cancer rates in the United States. Like all other cancers, early detection and treatment of the growths associated with lung cancer goes a long way toward feeling better and living longer.

But what are the symptoms of lung cancer?

Unfortunately, in its earliest stages, there are often no physical symptoms for lung cancer. Because of this, it is important to talk with your primary care provider about any risk factors well-before symptoms appear. Some questions to ask yourself – and share with your primary care provider – include:

  • Have I been a smoker?
  • Have I been around second-hand smoke?
  • Have I worked in construction or other fields that exposed the pink tissue of my lungs to toxic chemicals?

If you answer yes to any of these, your primary care provider may recommend a preventative lung cancer screening called low-dose CT (Computed Tomography) imaging. Like a mammogram finding breast cancer, this lung cancer screening detects lung tumors at their earliest stages, when the odds of successful treatment are highest.

Download this free informational resource as your guide to lung cancer.

“Lung cancer survival rates are five times higher when the cancer is detected in its earliest stages,” says Dr. Andrew Salner, Medical Director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital.

There are physical signs of lung cancer as well, including:

  • A raspy cough that won’t go away (also known as a “smoker’s cough”)
  • Coughs that produce blood or rust-colored phlegm
  • Hoarseness
  • Troubled or noisy breathing
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden, unplanned weight loss
  • Chest pain that worsens when coughing or breathing

In its more advanced stages, lung cancer can spread to other organs of the body. Additional symptoms at this stage include:

  • Bone pain, especially in the back and hips
  • Dizziness or balance problems
  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Headaches
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Lumps in the neck

At the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, our goal is to treat lung cancers earlier, at more treatable stages.

Download this free informational resource as your guide to lung cancer.


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