Lung cancer symptoms
The main symptoms of lung cancer are:
- a persistent new cough (lasting more than 3 weeks) or a change in a cough you’ve had for a long time
- pain in the chest or shoulder
- chest infection that lasts more than 3 weeks or that keeps returning
- coughing or spitting up blood.
Lung cancer may also cause general symptoms such as wheezing, fatigue, weight loss, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, abdominal (tummy) pain, joint pain, neck or face swelling, and enlarged fingertips (finger clubbing).
Having any one of these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have lung cancer; they may be caused by other conditions or from the side effects of smoking. Sometimes, there are no symptoms and the cancer is found during routine tests for other conditions. If you have symptoms, see your doctor without delay.
For an overview of what to expect at every stage of your cancer care, visit Cancer Pathways – Lung Cancer. This is a short guide to what is recommended, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.
Podcast for people affected by cancer
A/Prof Brett Hughes, Senior Staff Specialist Medical Oncologist, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, The Prince Charles Hospital and The University of Queensland, QLD; Dr Brendan Dougherty, Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Specialist, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Kim Greco, Nurse Consultant – Lung Cancer, Flinders Medical Centre, SA; Dr Susan Harden, Radiation Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; A/Prof Rohit Joshi, Medical Oncologist, GenesisCare and Lyell McEwin Hospital, Director, Cancer Research SA; Kathlene Robson, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council ACT; Peter Spolc, Consumer; Nicole Taylor, Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma Cancer Specialist Nurse, Canberra Hospital, ACT; Rosemary Taylor, Consumer; A/Prof Gavin M Wright, Director of Surgical Oncology, St Vincent’s Hospital and Research and Education Lead – Lung Cancer, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, VIC.
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