Thoracic cancer usually does not have any symptoms when it first develops. It may be revealed during an occasional examination done for another condition.
Signs and symptoms may therefore be triggered by the cancer itself or by other conditions.
Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer either. It is thus recommended that you consult a doctor, if you think that you may be at risk.
Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. The earlier in life a person starts smoking, the more often a person smokes, and the more years a person smokes, the greater the risk of lung cancer. If a person has stopped smoking, the risk becomes lower as the years pass.
Smoking increases the risk of incidence of thoracic cancers.
Possible symptoms and early signs for thoracic cancer include the following:
There are several types of thoracic cancers: Lung: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC); malignant pleural mesothelomia (MPM) and thymic malignancies (TM). (Source NCI; Asbestos.com)
- Cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse over time (Lung, MPM, TM)
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath (Lung, MPM, TM)
- Chest discomfort or pain (Lung, MPM, TM)
- Blood in sputum (mucus coughed up from the lungs) ( Lung)
- Appetite and weight loss for no known reason (Lung, MPM, TM)
- Repeated bouts of pneumonia or bronchitis (Lung)
- Feeling very tired (Lung, MPM, TM)
- General pain (Lung, MPM, TM)
- Ache or pain in shoulders, back or chest (Lung, TM)
- Trouble swallowing (TM)
- Swelling in the face and/or veins in the neck (Lung, TM)
Should you witness any of these symptoms, may we recommend that you seek advice with a doctor
Visualize the video on ‘Lung cancer’ symptoms:
Awareness poster from Free to breathe 17 tips: Know the symptoms
(source: Free to breathe)