Lung cancer – Silent signs to look out for

Lung cancer is among the leading causes of death in both men and women. Even though it is treatable, early detection and diagnosis are crucial. The two most common symptoms of the condition are believed to be persistent cough and shortness of breath, but in many cases, they do not appear until the advanced stages. So, here are a few other silent signs of lung cancer one should look out for.

Fatter fingertips
A few types of lung tumors produce hormone-like chemicals. These chemicals can push more fluid and blood to the fingertip tissues, making them look thicker or larger. Furthermore, the skin next to the nails can look shiny, and the nails may curve more. Statistics suggest that 80% of people with this symptom have lung cancer.

Stomach issues
Many people with lung cancer develop hypercalcemia, characterized by high amounts of calcium in the blood. The condition can lead to problems like stomach aches and constipation. Moreover, some hormone-like substances released by the tumors may cause kidney problems, leading to cramps and nausea.

Hoarseness or changes in voice
Some also notice a few changes in their voice, making it seem strained or raspy. This may happen due to the lung’s pressure on the nerve that controls the vocal cords. It can also be caused by irritation or injury to the vocal cords. This sudden change in voice may disappear after a short period, but it may be best to visit a doctor if one experiences longer episodes, as hoarseness could be a silent sign of lung cancer.

Upper body swelling and bruising
While swelling and bruises may be associated with injuries, they can also be caused by other conditions. A large vein in the body known as the superior vena cava carries blood from the head and arms to the heart. If a tumor presses down on the vein, it can lead to blood pooling and swelling in the upper arms, neck, and chest.

As lung cancer is a complicated disease, individuals should seek a doctor’s advice as soon as they notice any symptoms. It ensures timely diagnosis and treatment.